Challenging Heights rescues 23 children on Volta Lake

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Over 23 children have been rescued from 15 different villages along Lake Volta engaged in modern-day slavery.

The children, 17 boys and six girls, are between the estimated ages of six and 16.

Challenging Heights, the non-governmental organisation involved in the rescue operations, says child traffickers have over the years become emboldened as a result of the lack of support from the government towards fighting this menace.

According to the NGO, the boys were engaged in fishing activities on the Volta Lake, while the girls mostly engaged in domestic chores and were sometimes sexually abused.

Most of the children rescued were treated for Bilharzia, and other diseases and will be put into a rehabilitation centre for a year and subsequently handed over to their parents.

“Challenging Heights has just rescued 23 children from the Lake Volta, and these children are made up of 17 boys and six girls. They were rescued in 15 different communities along the Volta Lake, and they are between the ages of six and 16. I must say they were not found in good condition as some of them were found to have bilharzia among others,” President of Challenging Heights, James Kofi Annan, told Citi News.

James Kofi Annan is the NDC parliamentary Candidate for Efutu constituency
James Kofi Annan

“I am also worried because, over the years, traffickers are becoming emboldened because the government has refused to be proactive in the fight against Child Trafficking. There have been several times in the past that we had to flee some communities because of the impending danger from traffickers, and this is bad. The children sometimes work 15 hours a day, and the girls are sometimes sexually abused as well. But we are shocked that some Ghanaians don’t believe that children are engaged in modern-day slavery,” Mr Annan said.

The President of Challenging Heights again wants the government to lend a helping hand to agencies and stakeholders such as the Social Welfare, the Gender Ministry, among others, by allocating to them enough budget to fight this menace.

“There are an estimated forty million people including adult and children caught up in slavery globally and researchers estimate that traffickers make over 150 billion dollars in profit unlawfully every year and in Ghana, there are estimated over 133,000 human beings in slavery according to the global slavery index and 20,000 children affected by slave labour on lake Volta alone according to the ILO,” he added.

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