Challenging Heights Rescues 23 More Children from slavery
To the press
March 16, 2022
We are here to report to you, that, Challenging Heights has just rescued 23 more children from Lake Volta. These rescued children are made up of 17 boys, and 6 girls, and are between estimated ages of 6 and 16 years. The children were rescued in 15 different villages, along Lake Volta.
This is our first rescue operation this year 2022, and we want to thank the security agencies, as well as the Department of Social Welfare, for their leadership and commitment to the fight against child trafficking in Ghana.
It will be recalled that Challenging Heights announced in our 2021 report, that we rescued a total of 153 children from slavery and human trafficking on Lake Volta last year. This brought the total number of children rescued by the organization in our 17 years of existence, to nearly 1,700.
It has taken us nearly three solid months of investigations and search, to be able to rescue these 23 children. We faced a lot of opposition during the rescue process, but bringing them freedom, is what has brought us joy.
Unfortunately, traffickers of these children have become emboldened, making rescues too daunting. There have been several times in the past that we had to flee some communities, resulting in traffickers fleeing with victims.
Please note, that, all these 23 children we have rescued were working on the Lake Volta; the girls as domestics and sexually abused, while the boys were used for fishing. They all endured various abuses such as working an average of 15 hours a day, and sometimes nights, mental and physical torture, and starvation. Every one of the 23 children is suffering from one disease or the other, including bilharzia, Hepatitis B, Syphilis, skin diseases, ear and foot rots, and so on.
None of them attended school.
We are shocked, that, some Ghanaians don’t believe that slavery still exists. For your information, there are an estimated 40million people, including children and adults, caught up in slavery globally as we speak. Researchers estimate that traffickers make over $150 billion in unlawful profits every year.
In Ghana, there are estimated over 133,000 people who are victims of slavery (Global Slavery Index, 2018). It is estimated that there are over 20,000 children affected by slave labor on Lake Volta alone (ILO, 2013). So slavery exists, and child slavery exists on Lake Volta.
I am here with some evidence, that these children were indeed in slavery (we cannot show their faces).
James Kofi Annan