A total of 42 children who were sold and forced to fish on the Volta Lake have been rescued from slavery.
The children, aged five and 16, were rescued at the weekend after two months of investigations and search by Challenging Heights in partnership with the Police, Navy, Department of Social Welfare and Abolish Slave Now.
The four girls and 38 boys were sold from communities in the Central and Greater Accra Regions and taken to the Volta Lake for the purposes of labour exploitation.
They are to be taken rehabilitation, and subsequently re-united 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 labor, as well as build community resilience against trafficking of children.
In 2017, Challenging Heights, together with its partners, 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 operations; 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,” a statement from the organisation said.
It asked the government to invest at least 15 million cedis 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.
“We feel 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,” the statement signed by President of Challenging Heights James Kofi Annan alleged.
Challenging Heights has thus called on the Police to provide security protection to its staff and facilities against traffickers, and their sympathizers who are presently ruffled by the rescues that have taken place.