Reverend Samuel Kofi Anthony Dunya, Founder and General Overseer, Globeserve Ministries International, has emphasised the need for the Church to take the lead in the fight against all forms of child abuse in the country.
He said issues of child exploitation could not be justified hence the Church which is the body of Christ must rise and take the lead and institute measures that would assist in addressing the situation and seeking justice for children who were abused.
Reverend Dunya was speaking at ‘the Gospel of Justice Conference’ at Sokode-Lokoe in the Ho Municipality of the Volta region organised by Globeserve Ministries International in partnership with Westwood community church, USA, Wooddale Church, USA, and International Justice Mission (IJM).
The conference was held on the theme: “The challenges of child slavery on the Volta lake: The role of the Church,” and discussed possible ways to curb the situation, seek justice for the victims and bring transformation in their lives and the community at large.
Reverend Dunya said when the Church continued to preach the true gospel coupled with proper discipleship members would not engage in acts of injustice but rather promote living justly.
The General Overseer said true transformation could only come from the heart and no one could deal with the heart of man than the gospel of the Saviour Jesus Christ, thus the need for the Church to take the lead to bring the needed transformation to deal with the issue.
He said the Church must be ashamed if members were part of people who perpetrated this injustice against children because all who had embraced the gospel knew very well how to live rightly or justly.
The Founder said according to the United Nations, human trafficking was an international problem, affecting millions of people and many countries around the world, and internal trafficking was one of the biggest challenges in Ghana.
“Many Ghanaian children are trafficked from their home villages to work in the fishing industry. Living in meagre conditions and working long hours every day, these kids are exploited by fishermen desperate to feed their families and eke out a living along the banks of the Lake Volta.”
He said according to IJM one out of five children in the lake fishing was six years old or younger and 57.6 per cent of children working on the volta lake was trafficked into forced labour and International Labour Organization estimated that 18,000 children some as young as 4 years old are trafficked to work on lake Volta up to 14 hours per day.
The Founder said the issues of child trafficking, child slavery, and sex trade must move us to stand together as people who knew the value of justice and to carry it out.
Mr Israel Akrobortu, Volta Regional Director Department of Children, in a speech read on his behalf, said the theme for the conference was appropriate because on child protection issues “families, society and the nation are failing us, our only hope is the Church.”
He called on religious leaders to help wage war against all forms of child abuse in the Region and the country.
Mr Akrobortu said the Department was ready to collaborate with Globeserve Ministries International and International Justice Mission to advocate for the well being and safety of children in the Region.
Mr George Loh, Board Member of Globeserve Ghana, speaking on the topic, effects of child slavery on the victim and the society, said most of the victims would not get the opportunity to live their childhood.
He said most victims lost the most important stage of development in their lives, therefore, all must come on board to help deal with the issues to protect the children and the future of the country.
Mr Loh said some of these children could contribute immensely to the development of the country if they were able to attain the full realisation of their lives opportunities.