Challenging Heights has rescued 42 more children from forced labour in Lake Volta. The rescue effort which happened over the weekend was in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Navy, the Department of Social Welfare, and Abolish Slavery Now.The rescued children comprised of four girls and 38 boys between the ages of 5 and 16. The children were sold from communities in the Central and Greater Accra Regions to the lake for the purposes of labour exploitation.
“It took the rescue team nearly two months of investigations and searching to achieve this success,” James Kofi Annan President of Challenging Heights said.
The children are expected to go through rehabilitation, after which they would be reunited with their families.
Over the years Challenging Heights has been in cooperation with the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), as well as the Ghana Police Service, with respect to rescues, policies and national advocacy aimed at putting an end to Child Trafficking in Ghana.
Challenging Heights works in several communities across Ghana to rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate children who have been affected by trafficking and worst forms of child labour, as well as build community resilience against trafficking of children.
Last year, together with its partners, it rescued 91 children made up of 74 boys and 17 girls, all from forced labour on Lake Volta. This year the organization and its partners have so far rescued over 100 children.
Since its inception in 2003, the organization and its partners have so far rescued over 1,600 children from the Lake Volta.
“We would like to thank all those who supported this operation; the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Navy, the Department of Social Welfare, and Abolish Slavery Now, who all have stood by us in the face of the mountain difficulties,” Annan said.
That notwithstanding, he said they are troubled “that some MPs, and other politicians, by their actions, seem to be supporting and emboldening some of the fishermen to launch attacks on our leadership, staff and rescue facilities.
He also called on the Police Administration to extend maximum security protection to the staff and facilities of Challenging Heights against traffickers, and their sympathizers who are presently ruffled by the rescues that have taken place.
He further called on the Ghanaian government to invest at least GHC15million annually, to resource the Human Trafficking Secretariat, and the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service, in order for them to have the capacity to do their work, as well as enforcing the Human Trafficking Law 2005.