The International Justice Mission (IJM), an anti-human trafficking non-governmental organization, has held its annual Freedom Sunday at Anyamam in the Ada West District of the Greater Accra Region.
The area is a source community, where people, especially children, are easily trafficked onto the Volta Lake for fishing and other activities.
This year’s programme which was on the theme “The Least of These” was aimed at using the church through its Godly activities to create awareness on the dangers of human trafficking and the urgent need to get it eradicated.
Mr. Will Lathrop, the Country Director for IJM Ghana, reiterated the need for everyone to be concerned about the upsurge of cases of human trafficking in the country.
Mr. Lathrop noted that Christians must be worried about the millions of people being trafficked from around the country and help in curbing it.
“We are here to encourage the Church to stand against human trafficking and to make us understand that it is a crime against humanity therefore we must stop engaging in it.
“The church must be responsible by calling on its local and national leaders to help fight this menace,” he added.
The Country Director urged churches to formulate and implement policies that have the potential to fight human trafficking collectively and individually.
Mr. Worlanyo Kojo Forster, National Director of Advocacy and Partnerships of IJM, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the Freedom Sunday sought to educate, engage, and empower various churches to actively live out their faith in a fresh and authentic way in their quest to fight for justice and injustice.
He said Freedom Sunday was a chance for all to gather to pray and stand up for justice against the poor and the vulnerable, especially young children adding that it was an opportunity for the Church to deepen its understanding of God’s heart for justice and discover the realities of modern slavery and join the fight to end it.
“Children are seen as the least in our communities and sometimes certain crimes are perpetrated against them so every third Sunday in September, we draw the focus of the Church towards children by ensuring that the church seeks Justice for them and stops certain crimes against them,” he stressed.
Mr. Charles Abayateye, the Secretary of the Divine Healers Church, Anyamam, thanked IJM for identifying the community and being resolute towards helping to eradicate the canker of child trafficking.
He added that child trafficking was a major problem affecting children’s education in the area, and therefore commended IJM for ensuring it becomes outdated, and pledged the church’s support to the fight.
Survivors of various forms of human trafficking and child trafficking were also given the platform to share their experiences to encourage parents and church leaders to make informed decisions.
Every third Sunday in September, over 15,000 churches around the world host a Freedom Sunday and use their voice to stand up for justice, in Ghana IJM organizes it in partnership with the Bible Society of Ghana in 14 regions.