US Association for International Migration (USAIM)

The U.S. Association for International Migration (USAIM) is the nonprofit partner of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the United States. As a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, USAIM seeks to empower migrants. Through outreach, education, and fundraising USAIM aims to raise awareness about the reality of migration while encouraging positive action. USAIM's Mission: To broaden public awareness To support programs that promote the humane and orderly migration of people To mobilize private sector resources To work in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to support domestic and international programs benefiting migrants, displa...
Jun 17, 2011

Trafficked Children

 

Dear Friend,
 
I’m writing to update you on the progress and development of IOM’s Trafficked Children of Ghana project, which undertakes the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of children trafficked for labor exploitation by fisherman on Lake Volta in Ghana. In March, we wrote about the upcoming rescue of trafficked children working under hazardous labor conditions in the fishing industry along the Volta Lake in Ghana. We are happy to report that 20 children were rescued in that mission and are now being housed at a rehabilitation center run by Ghana’s Department of Social Welfare where they will undergo physical and psychological rehabilitation and attend classes for three months before being reunited with their parents in their communities of origin. Trafficked at young ages, their experiences have left deep mental and physical marks on the children.  Upon rescue, they showed very high levels of malnutrition, stunted growth, malaria and worm infections that needed urgent treatment. These children will continue to receive critical support as they are reintegrated into their communities.
 
We would also like to share with you the news that Eric Peasah, who has been the Counter Trafficking Field Manager with IOM Ghana since 2005 will be departing this position in July. Eric’s tireless work on behalf of trafficked in children in Ghana has contributed to the rescue of hundreds of children. His support and advocacy on behalf of these children has proved invaluable to the project over the years and resulted in a legacy of rescued children who will now have brighter futures because of his efforts. While we are sad to see Eric depart, the important work of rescuing and rehabilitating trafficked children in Ghana will continue.
 
Thousands of other Ghanaian child victims of trafficking will continue to work in dangerous, exploitative conditions with little chance of escape unless funds can be raised for their rescue. Since 2002, IOM has rescued a total of 731 children with support from the United States Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).   However, in recent years as funding has declined, IOM has been supported by many private donations as well. IOM is now appealing for funds from donors around the world so that the Organization can continue to provide this critical support to trafficked children after September 2011, when current funding runs out.
Thank you for all you have done!
 
Best,
Erin
Nov 29, 2010

Kwame's Story

 

Dear Donor,

Your continued support makes a difference in the lives of trafficked children in Ghana. It gives them hope. It helps them go to school. It gives them a chance for the future. Please find attached the story of “Kwame”.
 
Donate now:
 
For as little as US$ 20 per month, you can help us rescue and rehabilitate a fishing child. Your support will help reunite these children with their families and send them to school so that they can have a promising future.
 
To make a donation please proceed to ‘MAKE A DONATION’ on the IOM website (www.iom.int). Choose “PROJECT: Trafficked Children of Ghana” and click on “Donate Now” to make donations to our project.

___

“Kwame”, now 15 years old, was among the 36 trafficked children rescued by IOM Ghana in 2008. He comes from one of the fishing communities in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region of Ghana. Prior to his rescue, he was working with a fisherman as a fishing boy in one of the fishing Islands along the Volta Lake.

During his rescue, it was discovered that his left eye was severely injured and needed medical attention. Before being rescued, he informed the IOM team that his injury was as a result of sand entering into the eye but later confessed during rehabilitation that he was injured as a result of diving under the water to disentangle a fishing net. While under the water, a stick pierced his left eye...

See the attached report for pictures and the rest of Kwame's story.


Attachments:
Jun 21, 2010

Trafficked Children Getting Back on Track

Mary and her driver met us at Mamkessem and drove us in a dirt road to a village called set right on the coast called Immuna. The beautiful surroundings concealed the darker side of this town. We met with the village chief who, through a translator, told us that many children from the village had been trafficked in to the fishing industry. Men come to take them to promise parents that they will pay the children’s school fees and take care of them, but this is not the case. They force the children to work hard labor for long hours and they are often mistreated and ill fed.

IOM has negotiated the return of many of the children not only in this village, but many other on the coast. The children and their families work with IOM for at least 2.5 years to assure the children have counseling and can be reintegrated and to spread awareness to the community and parents. The chief said that formerly men would come and take many children, now if they try to convince parents to send their children with them, the villagers laugh at them and send them off.

As Mary introduced us to one of the school teachers, he explained that over 60 of the students at the school had been trafficked, but thanks to the work of Eric and the others at IOM they have returned to the community and many are now at the top of their class.

However, there are still many children from Immuna and many other areas, which have not been returned to their homes. The IOM staff has developed a sponsorship program to provide sustainable support for the children who have already been rescued so that once they can have long-term support and IOM can continue to help more children.

Sarah and four other In-the-Field Travelers are currently in Ghana before they are making their way to Mali and Burkina Faso. They'll be visiting more than 30 GlobalGiving projects in the next month. Follow their adventures at http://itfwa.wordpress.com/.

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