Child Trafficking – A Threat To Our Future

Child Trafficking – A Threat To Our Future Child Trafficking – A Threat To Our Future

By Rhoda Mingle

Child trafficking has been revealed to be one of the serious cases that infringe on child right and has severe impact on child growth and development.

It involves the recruitment, transportation, harboring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation and forced labor such as fishing, gold mining, street hawking, portering among others.

It is estimated that every year, millions of children are trafficked around the world. The demand for cheap labor, sexual services and certain criminal activities among others.

A recent assessment conducted by the international justice mission {IJM} found out that 57.6 percent of children working on Southern lake Volta waters were trafficked into forced labour. The report further identified the majority of children as too young to legally conduct the hazardous tasks inherent in many aspects of the fishing industry. At least one out of five of the children identified in the lake fishing was six years old or younger according to the report.

Kete-Krachi in the Volta Region is a place where the menace is reportedly rife involving children between the ages of 8 and 12 working without supervision whilst others appeared severely malnourished according to a survey conducted by a team from the University of Winneba.

Some of the causes of child trafficking include family dysfunction where nobody seems to care about the wellbeing of the children can put them at risk of being trafficked. Another cause is poverty as this could make them desperate and jump on any opportunity that promises them an income. Others include lack of education as 623,500 children in Ghana are not even enrolled in school, lack of personal safety, homelessness and emotional stress.

Young children are the future leaders of the nation therefore it is imperative that their lives are safeguarded. The key to making them responsible, useful citizens and good future leaders is quality education, good parenting, instilling good morals and values, protection and safety. When all these measures are put in place the issue of trafficking will be a thing of a past.

According to a report by the United States Department of State in 2018 indicated that the Government of Ghana despite its relentless efforts in combating the menace did not adequately address corruption and political interference in trafficking investigations and prosecutions. The report also captured the lack of sufficient resources for effective investigation evidence collection and the shortage of state attorneys hindered prosecutions and the courts failed to hold some convicted traffickers accountable with sentences strong enough to deter the crime.

Some interventions that can help end the menace is the implementation and enforcement of laws against trafficking crimes, improving access to good quality health, social welfare and criminal justice support services for children survivors of trafficking. Also, working with other governments and businesses to prevent, intercept and address trafficking and prosecute criminal networks which transcend national borders.

But these strategies can’t stand alone. They need to intersect with broader efforts to prevent trafficking, in particular raising awareness and empowering children with knowledge and skills to recognize and protect themselves. Good quality health care and education services and a functioning child protection system that detects and supports children at risk are also essential in both prevention and response.

I believe that if all the above mentioned interventions are taken into consideration and enforced, Ghana will reduce the menace to its barest minimum and the future of our children will be secured for the good of our country.

Student Journalist, Ghana Institute of Journalism.