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05.07.2019 Opinion

Alavanyo Queen Mother, Prof. Joel team, educate fisherfolk on child trafficking

...donates cement in aid of school project at Awate Tornu
By Abdul-Iddrisu Faisel
Alavanyo Queen Mother, Prof. Joel team, educate fisherfolk on child trafficking

The Queen mother of the Alavanyo Traditional Area, Mamaga Ametor Hoebuadzu II, in collaboration with the Professor Joel team, from the US has begun an initiative to educate fishing communities along the Volta lake, on the menace of child trafficking and child labour to reduce the menace of the trade.

The team comprising personnel from the Ghana Police and the Social Welfare department made the first stop at Awate Tornu- a fishing community in the North Dayi District on Friday, where they engaged community leaders, residents, and school children.

The team spoke highly against the use of children for fishing and other menial jobs (physical), especially during inappropriate times, an act considered a human right abuse and with severe health implications on such victims.

The victims according to reports, sometimes lose their lives on the lake, as they are compelled by their masters to dive-in to remove stacked fishing nets.

The Awate Tornu community is identified as one of the communities, where most children that are trafficked are sold into domestic slavery and made to work on the Volta Lake.

During the interactive engagement, the residents revealed that the trade and the engagement of students in the area have reduced drastically. They, however, informed the team that the trade still persists in some other villages around them.

The residents pledge their support for the initiative and told the team that the would at all times report any of such acts to the relevant institutions for action.

According to Mamaga Ametor, the initiative is targeted at the fishing communities in order to conscientise the people against the act and get the victims back to school.

"It's an initiative targeted at fishing communities along the Volta lake in order to create awareness against the trade and get these children back to school. Who knows, what may become of them at the end of the day," she noted.

"These are children mostly between 7 to 17 years, who are sometimes taken away from their parents under the pretence of sending them to school or getting them good jobs but end up being sold into servitude to work under severe weather conditions", she added.

A member of the team from the Volta Regional headquarters of the Ghana Police Service, Detective Corporal Agbesi Nukporwoe said that the fight against the canker is intensifying but however laments bitterly that, residents in such communities find conceal vital information that can lead to the arrest of perpetrators of the act.

"Usually, these things happen in communities that residents are not willing to come forth with any information. If you come around, you realize that the people here are not willing to speak or give any information on the canker. Hardly, you get an informant from them and that's one of the difficulties against the fight", he said.

The team donated 30 bags of cement to the community in aid of some ongoing school projects and urged them to organize communal labour to complete the projects.

The team in the next few days would be moving to Kpando and Battor areas to intensify the campaign.

Story by: Abdul-Iddrisu Faisel

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