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General News of Thursday, 7 March 2019

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Investigate, arrest and prosecute all persons behind child slavery on Volta Lake – NUGS to gov’t

The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has called on the government to begin investigations into allegations of child slavery on the Volta Lake and arrest all those involved in it.

Their call follows a documentary released by international news giant CNN titled ‘Troubled waters’ which exposed the plight of about 20,000 children working as fishermen on the Volta Lake.

The CNN documentary revealed that of the 1,621 households surveyed in and around the Volta Lake, over a third contained a victim of child trafficking or slavery-like conditions.

NUGS in a statement signed by the President, Tinkaro Asare Osei condemned the act and called on government especially the Gender Minister to take action and prosecute all those involved in the trafficking of children at the Volta Lake.

“It is sad to know, as per the documentary, in Ghana, 20,000 children work as slaves in the fishing industry. This fact is degrading and does not fit the current state of education in the country. We call on the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection to investigate the situation generally and the numbers coming up”.

“NUGS, therefore, calls on the government and all other stakeholders to intervene in the situation on the Volta Lake and call for the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of perpetrators of child trafficking into forced or voluntary labour”, the statement read.

NUGS further indicated their readiness to safeguard the interest of children to receive quality education in promoting education and development in Ghana.

Read below the full statement.

NUGS CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD SLAVERY ON GHANA'S VOLTA LAKE

The attention of the National Union of Ghana Students has been brought to a documentary that was telecasted on the American international broadcaster, CNN with the heading CNN Exposes Child Slavery on Ghana's Lake Volta and a title, Troubled Waters.

The documentary exposed the plight of children of school going age being exploited in a manner akin to slaves in their own Motherland.

It is sad to know, as per the documentary, in Ghana, 20,000 children work as slaves in the fishing industry. This fact is degrading and does not fit the current state of education in the country.



We call on the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection to investigate the situation generally and the numbers coming up.

NUGS is committed in helping in this regard. Fishing is a dangerous work unfit for a child.

Trafficking of children into forced labor is illegal in Ghana. The United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, is the main international legal framework to combat trafficking, with the objective of protecting and assisting victims of human trafficking with full respect for their human rights.

Indeed, the laws of Ghana promise adequate protection for children from forced labor and trafficking. The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana 1992 (CRG) requires that Parliament enact laws that protect children against exposure to physical and moral hazards and work that adversely affects their development.

The Ghanaian HTA prohibits human trafficking into, within, and through Ghana; secures the government’s commitment to provide for the care and rehabilitation of trafficked persons; and prohibits the use of trafficked persons in labor situations the penalty for which, is imprisonment for a term of no less than five years.

Under the statute, a person who provides another person for purposes of trafficking commits an offense even when the provider is a parent.

NUGS therefore calls on the government and all other stakeholders to intervene in the situation on the Volta Lake and call for the arrest, prosecution and conviction of perpetrators of child trafficking into forced or voluntary labour.

The Union is committed in safeguarding the interest of young children of school going age to receive quality education in promoting education and development in Ghana.

Signed

Kobby Otchere Marfo

Press & Information Secretary, NUGS

0240852651


Tinkaro Asare Osei

President, NUGS

0543253243