Parents link child trade in Awutu Senya District to extreme poverty

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Child Trade
Child Trade

Some parents at Senya Bereku, in the Awutu Senya District of the Central Region, have confessed that abject poverty influenced their decision to trade their children to Yeji, in the Volta Region for employment and survival.

They said their inability to provide the basic needs such as food, education among others compelled them to agree to the terms and conditions of perpetrators of human trafficking.

“Most often, our husbands refuse to care for us after giving birth and we are left with no option than to send one or two of our children to Yeji to work to feed other kids.”

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the need to fight the rampant incidence of human trafficking in the district, some of the mothers appealed for alternative livelihoods to fight the canker.
They asked Governments to introduce sustainable economic empowerment programs that would help them make ends meet to ensure lasting resolution to the menace.

Though, they admitted the act was inhuman, they said that was the only option to take care of other children to improve on their standard of living.

Madam Abena Mansa, a mother of five, regretted sending her child away, recounting the pain and trauma the children went through in the hands of the perpetrators, even though it was their only hope for survival.
“I sent my first child to work to provide money to cater for the other children, I am not proud of the act but, that’s how we survive.”

She called on stakeholders to provide job opportunities in the district since there was no business except trading which was difficult to get capital to start, adding that jobs was the most critical and sustainable approach to end human trafficking in the district and Ghana as a whole.

Mr Felix Ababio, a father and survivor of human trafficking recounting his experience on the Yeji Lake, bemoaned the activity adding that it was done at the very peril of the lives of the victims.

He told the Awutu Senya District Assembly to prioritize the education of children of the area to keep them busy to stop them from being sold into servitude.

“Working on the Volta Lake is not an easy task, the lake is very deep and going down to unleash the net was not easy and I do not wish any child to go through that trauma,” he added.

Mr Ababio urged the authorities join the crusade against human trafficking, empower and educate parents on family planning to reduce the uncertainties that befell them due to financial constraints.

Neenyi Kojo Omano II, Chief of Akrosah, noted that poverty was not an excuse adding that human trafficking and its eradication was a collective responsibility, and all hands must be on deck to alleviate the menace.
He told parent to be on guard and report to the police perpetrators who went to them with juicy deals.

Nana Omanu advised parents to end the practice of deploying children as work hands in factories, offices, farmlands, and others all constituted child labour.

Though children were allowed to gain certain skills through observation and learning, their involvement in tedious activities inhabit and undermined their future.

The traditional council, he mentioned was committed to doing its best to address and reduce issues of human trafficking in the area.

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