» Child Trafficking
ENLIGHTENMENT ON CHILD TRAFFICKING
The historical events along the Volta River basin in 1964-66 had set, in part, a stage for increased child trafficking, labour and slavery. During the early 1960s, the Volta River basin was transformed into a dam. The main purpose was to generate Hydro-Electricity Power at Akosombo, and today, this power serves Ghana, Benin and Togo. The flooded catchments of the Akosombo Dam became suitable for inland fishing. At the time, up to 90% of the country's fish requirement was produced in the Dam's catchments. However, since then the productivity level of the fishing industry has changed.
Almost three decades after the Dam was constructed, specifically in 1998, APPLE discovered through the print media that children were being used in the fishing industry. Immediately the issue was discovered, APPLE Team met Monika Parikh of Free the Slaves and a team from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) led by Dr. Ernest Taylor to discuss child trafficking situations and to design location-specific interventions. In June 2001, APPLE conducted and completed a research into the involvement of children in the fishing industry through which the nature of child trafficking was revealed along the Volta River Basin.
Following the research and further stakeholders consultations, APPLE and international NGOs started the procedures and processes of rescuing, rehabilitation, and reunification of the trafficked children.
Some success indicators regarding the child trafficking project are:
1,000 slaved children from 12 villages were identified and registered while over 500 of them were released from 2002 to 2004;
APPLE reunited the trafficked children with their families;
APPLE managed a transit camp at Yeji in collaboration with the IOM and established a mini-shelter at Atebubu to keep rescued children prior to family reintegration;
APPLE assisted and reintegrated 528 trafficked children in the Volta and Central Regions (see Table 4); and
APPLE's research output stimulated the promulgation of the Human Trafficking Act (694) in March, 2005.
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