Some residents at Ada in the Greater Accra Region, have called on stakeholders to help support effort at ending human trafficking.
They said traditional and religious leaders and community members should help with sensitisation and education of the citizenry towards finding effective ways to solve that problem.
The residents said leaders could lead the fight through community engagement, outrages, church activities, and public education among others.
The residents spoke to the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Ada during a community engagement after four children who had been trafficked to operate around Volta Lake were reunited with their families.
The children were rescued through the timely intervention of the Ghana Police Service, the Department of Social Welfare in collaboration with the International Justice Mission.
Mr. Charles Nateh Abayateye, an Opinion Leader at Anyamam near Sege, said the leaders of the various authorities in the Ada area had a major role to play in ending human trafficking by using their various offices effectively, efficiently, and strategically.
He noted that the responsibility of leaders remained indispensable in the fight against the menace and urged them to intensify public education on the effects of the menace as well as its implications on victims as they were usually beaten and maltreated in diverse ways.
Answering questions on Ada as a typical source of trafficking children onto the Volta Lake to engage in fishing activities, Mr. Amos Mantey, a fisherman at Agblabanya, a predominantly fishing community, said there was an urgent need for stakeholders at the community level to sensitize residents on human trafficking and its negative consequences.
He said the situation could not be curbed individually or by a single organization and called for collaboration and wider consultation towards its eradication.
The four children told the GNA that some of them were under the age of 10 years when they were separated from their families and trafficked into forced fishing labour on Lake Volta, Ghana’s largest man-made lake.
Beyond the fear and abuse they encountered, the risk of drowning according to them was constant as they were forced to dive deep into dark waters to untangle fishing nets.
“We worked long hours at night and early in the morning,” they said.
They noted that some of them were currently experiencing ear defects due to numerous drownings and ulcers as a result of starvation and hunger.
The four children were trafficked to Yeji, in the Pru East District of the Bono East Region located adjacent to Lake Volta and Morekorpe, and Bejemesu in the Oti region.