Some 52 children on the verge of being trafficked from the Northern Region to Togo, Burkina Faso and Nigeria have been rescued.
The rescue happened through a collaboration between the Pan-African Organisation for Research and Protection of Violence on Women and Children (PAORP-VWC), a non-governmental organisation (NGO); the Department of Social Welfare and security agencies.
Currently, efforts are ongoing to build a rehabilitation centre for rescued victims of child trafficking and related abuses in the Gushegu Municipality in the Northern Region.
The Executive Director of PAORP-VWC, Dr Peter Ndonwie, disclosed this at a workshop in Gushegu to phase out the NGO’s “Promotion of protection against child trafficking and child early and forced marriages” project.
The project was implemented across the last three years in Gushegu, Tolon, Kumbungu, Zabzugu and Tatale districts in the Northern Region, with funding support from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of Germany and Child Rights Africa (KiRA-German).
Dr Ndonwie indicated that a number of the rescued victims could not get the maximum support from their caretakers, making them to drop out of school to engage in activities that jeopardised their future.
To help resolve this issue, he said the NGO had secured a 28-acre plot for the construction of a rehabilitation centre for rescued victims of child trafficking and related abuses to provide a safe living environment for such children while undergoing training to ease their integration back into their respective families and communities.
Dr Ndonwie said the project facilitated the acquisition of birth certificates for some children to enhance their identification in the implementing districts, provided educational support to children, and engaged relevant community stakeholders on the effects of child trafficking and other forms of child abuse.
He, however, indicated that some cultural beliefs and practices, within the implementing areas, hindered the progress of the project.
Dr Ndonwie called on stakeholders to adopt a holistic approach to deepen the sensitisation of community members to child rights and protection to reduce the chances of trafficking and other abuses in the country.
He also appealed to the government to adequately resource the Department of Social Welfare to enable it to respond swiftly to cases of child abuse.