Child trafficking is common in coastal communities in Ghana. A lack of awareness sees children taken to the freshwater fishing sector where they are enslaved. Our project provides the training, mentoring and support systems to enable communities to prevent child trafficking, as well as to help advocate for system changing solutions. In this way, communities will be empowered to take ownership of the fight against child trafficking.
In Ghanaian coastal communities where child trafficking is common, lack of awareness around the issues is often the cause. As a result, child traffickers take advantage of parents and manipulate cultural practices in order to purchase children. The children are then sold to fishermen on Lake Volta, where they are enslaved in the small scale fishing sector. As fishing slaves, trafficked children are denied their rights and suffer great physical and psychological abuse.
Communities will be educated on issues of child trafficking and facilitated to understand the importance of child rights. The use of a number of participatory tools will build communities' confidence to take ownership of stopping child trafficking. Communities will then be trained in implementing a number of relevant child protection systems. With the knowledge, confidence and appropriate systems, communities will prevent incidents of child trafficking and become advocates for child rights.
In empowering communities to have ownership of the fight against child trafficking, structural impediments that allow for child trafficking must be overcome. Source communities will not only be given the knowledge, confidence and systems to prevent incidences of child trafficking. They will also be provided with space to identify structural problems which create child trafficking and advocate for long-term and system changing solutions.