190 Children rescued - from trafficking

BY: Eugenia Asare Tandoh
190 Children rescued - from trafficking

The Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) of the Ghana Police Service rescued 190 children who were victims of child trafficking in various parts of the country last year.

One hundred and eighty-eight of the children were already engaged in forced labour, while two other females trafficked were forced to indulge in sexual activities.

The Commander of the AHTU, Superintendent Mike Baah said most of the rescued children had since been reunited with their parents, while the rest had been sent to various shelter facilities.

Those who were found to have trafficked the children he said, had been prosecuted, while others were still under investigation.

Supt. Baah said the children, who were rescued from fishing and farming communities, were engaged in hazardous work, not allowed to attend school, had no social care whatsoever and received inadequate healthcare.

For instance, in fishing communities, he pointed out that some of the boys who were as young as five years were forced to work under hazardous conditions, including diving deep into the Volta Lake, resulting in many suffering water-borne infections.

Some of the girls were made to work along the shores cooking, cleaning fish and preparing fish for the market and that often left them vulnerable to sexual abuse.

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The commander of AHTU further said that some of the children were given out by their poor parents to various family members and friends with the hope that they would be sent to school.

Unknown to most parents, however, the children had been turned into domestic helpers performing tasks which were hazardous to their health and often too difficult for children their ages.

Supt. Baah, therefore, appealed to the general public to assist the police with information to arrest people suspected to be child traffickers and advised parents to follow up on their children when they gave them out to live with relatives or friends.