The illegal recruitment and relocation of children mainly for sexual exploration and forced labour has become a canker in the Ghanaian communities and the world at large
Children engage in forced labour in the island and coastal fishing communities, street hawking, and illegal gold mining among others thus robbing them of their childhood. Their dreams of attaining education are thrown to the sea. These children are inflicted with pain physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Some of these children are sent to work in factories. Most of these factories use machinery and materials that can easily cause great harm. These adults go to work in these factories each day afraid for their lives. With these children exposed to such environments, what kind of fear will they be inhibiting every second of their stay in such factories? What sort of horrific trauma are these employers scarring these children with?
Children who should be in school and enjoying their childhood are sent on fishing escapades as well as being farm hands on large acres of land. Their age mates are in school shaping their future whilst theirs is at stake. On most of these escapades, these children eat nothing till they get back home. What energy are they supposed to work with? Are their bodies even mature enough to handle such strenuous jobs? These are children! Children who deserve to be happy! Children who deserve to eat well and be happy with the lives they live! They should not be made to question the reason for their existence or that they will never be loved or worthy of being treated as humans.
With the denial of basic rights to education, malnutrition, and improper healthcare are next on the timeline. These children do not live fulfilled lives. These acts do not only compromise their education and life as a whole but also deepen cycles of poverty which are extremely difficult to conquer.
Children are exploited sexually. In homes that should be happy and content places, children are subjected to domestic slavery such as cleaning the entire house and washing lots of clothes amongst others. They are not given personal money after doing all of these to use for themselves. What in the world can a child buy for pleasure that is too expensive? Are they shoes, ice cream, sweets, toys, clothes? In the end, they beg everyone they see and know, they steal and they escape to work on marijuana farms. All these, in the long term, turn them into drug addicts and deviants in society. If there are no interventions, they pass these acts to their children.
The separation from their parents to individuals and unassuming family members exposes them to emotional risks, loneliness, and isolation. They are only called when their so-called masters need their services. The absence of proper parental care and community support hampers their development in all spheres.
They are also left with various degrees of scars that persist into their adulthood. All these traumas they go through manifest in many ways therefore preventing their ability to engage in healthy relationships and social interactions. Putting an end to child trafficking requires all hands on board from every individual right down to the government. The government has to implement strong legislative instructions and also equip law enforcement agencies to curb this menace.
Community and family members should be educated to be aware of these outrageous activities and also avail themselves as volunteers and report any suspicious act of trafficking.