“I Am Free and I Will Go to School”, Eight-year-old Rescued in GhanaSlavery
Two boys were rescued out of slavery last week by the Ghana Anti-Human Trafficking police with support from International Justice Mission. The children, who had spent years out of school working as slave labour on fishing boats, are estimated to be eight and 13 years old.
The eight-year-old boy had already been working for three years for one slave master, before being returned to his family and re-trafficked out to the current master. At first after being rescued, he was confused and overwhelmed, but a government social worker was able to quickly console him and help him to feel safe and free to share about his experience. Just the week before, the government social worker had attended an IJM training on supporting human trafficking survivors in a child-sensitive way.
Both of the boys have been placed in a safe shelter home where their needs will be assessed for further care.
Even in the hours after rescue, the children proved to be keenly aware of the change that had taken place in their lives. During initial conversations, a social worker asked the eight-year-old what he would normally be doing at home at this time.
He answered, “Oh by this time I would have been fishing, but now I’m free and I will go to school.”