Challenging Heights, a non-governmental organisation working to protect children’s rights and end child trafficking in the country, at the weekend, rescued 18 trafficked children who were working in the fishing industry on the Lake Volta. Aged between five and 17, the children are currently being rehabilitated at the organisation’s rehabilitation centre. A statement issued and signed by the Advocacy Officer of the organisation, Ms Akua Boatemaa Duah, said child trafficking in the fishing industry had been a problem for several decades and that over 21,000 children were estimated to be working on the Lake Volta alone, and there were several thousands more going through various forms of abuse. In 2005, the Ghana government passed the Human Trafficking Law, making human trafficking a criminal offence punishable by at least five years’ imprisonment. The statement said Challenging Heights worked in several communities across Ghana to rescue, rehabilitate and re-integrate children who had been affected by worst forms of child labour, including trafficking. The organisation, which recently launched its new five-year strategic plan, was also involved in the provision of livelihoods training and support for several hundreds of women who were affected by trafficking. “It is hoped that the government would provide the necessary resources for the Human Trafficking Department of the Ghana Police Service and the Human Trafficking Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to have the capacity to deal decisively with the issue of human trafficking, especially in the fishing industry,” it said.
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