Every year thousands of children in Ghana are sent to Lake Volta, to a life of modern slavery in the fishing industry. Some are callously sold by their families. Others are sent in ignorance by parents who believe traffickers’ promises of an education and a secure career for their children. The reality is very different, with long days of hazardous labor, violent abuse, little food, and no school.
In 2011 people in Ghana were shocked to hear the story of Dominic Imprain, who had been trafficked and sold into slavery at Lake Volta for GHS 5. During his years as a child slave, Dominic was forced to work day and night on fishing boats, physically abused, and denied food and education. But children continue to be sold today, with an estimated 21,000 in hazardous child labor there right now.
With little chance of escape many children die on the lakes. Traffickers deliberately target poor communities during the long school vacations, paying the family for the labor of a child they may never see again. This is in strict violation of the Constitution of Ghana, which guarantees that all children, regardless of their backgrounds, must have access to free basic education and protection of their rights.
The church in Ghana has a wide reach. Many enslaved children who are rescued have been shown to come from church communities. If faith leaders tell parents not to send children to Lake Volta, and teach them about the reality of conditions for children, this will have a powerful impact in helping to end child slavery in Ghana.
We need all pastors and ministers to take just three minutes from their sermons to speak out against child trafficking—that’s only one second for every thousand Ghanaians who live in modern slavery today.
Photo Credit: Compassion International
To: Para: Rt. Rev Prof. Emmanuel Martey, Chair of The Christian Council of Ghana
Every year, thousands of children in Ghana are sent to Lake Volta to a life of modern slavery in the fishing industry. Many come from church communities.
In your role as chair of the Christian Council of Ghana, we therefore call on you to urgently instruct all faith leaders subscribed to your council to:
With your help we can take a big step toward ensuring that no child falls victim to slavery at Lake Volta.