The President of Challenging Heights, a non-governmental organization (NGO), Dr James Kofi Annan, has said children are the future of the country and if they were deny of any of their rights to freedom, education and other opportunities, it was a betrayal of the founding principles of the country.
He said as a people there was the need to seize the opportunity to contribute towards the end of unjust treatment to children and to secure their freedom for ever.
Dr Annan started this in a press statement signed by him and copied the Ghana News Agency captioned ?The evidence of Slavery in Ghana is undeniable?.
He said Challenging Heights was an organization that protected children from trafficking, hazardous labour and fights for their rights and that it was evident that slavery was still being practiced in the country in this 21st century, whereby children were exchange for money or given as bonded labour to pay off a debt.
He said when these children are handed over by their parents who genuinely expect them to return after a few years, they are often physically and emotionally abused, neglected, starved and denied of education which is not the best for the country.
He said it was about time stakeholders in grooming children came together to fight this, else the future of the country cannot be described.
Dr. Annan indicated that, in December 2014 the Organization was able to rescue 17 children ages between four and 17 from hazardous force labour on Lake Volta and added that the said rescue operation was carried on based on similar rescue operation they carried out in October 2014 where 21 children were rescued on the same lake.
The statement stated further that, historic slavery may have ended, but slavery is still alive in Ghana as it is in many other countries, of which people may not be transport across the seas in chains anymore, but the lives of trafficked children who become the property of ?masters? are no different.
The statement also disclosed that, the government, ILO/IPEC 2013 report estimated that there were 49,000 children working along the Volta Lake alone, 21,000 in hazardous labour, which the figure quoted as excluding those trapped in domestic servitude or sexual exploitation and those in mining or agriculture sectors, of which the global slavery index estimated to exceed 190,000.
?It appears that we have forgotten and those of us who are alive are failing to uphold a noble promise in the shadow of our dark history and we can only solve the problem if we first acknowledge that slavery exists,? he said.
He said that it was about time that as a people, we confronted the child slavery with all the seriousness it deserves in other to eliminate it.