The Ghana Police Service and Ghana Department of Social Welfare with assistance from International Justice Mission rescued six trafficked children between the ages of 6-12 from the Volta Lake fishing industry.
The operation took place in the northern part of Lake Volta, where fishing is a major industry and children are often forced to work in dangerous conditions to earn a profit for their masters.
IJM had just completed an investigations training with the Ghana Police Service prior to the operation, and police officers were able to use this training to quickly locate and rescue four children. They continued their search until they found the remaining two children who had been forced to hide under a bed in a nearby house.
Despite pressure from some members of the community to halt arrests, the police arrested three suspected traffickers.
During the course of several interviews with the children, police and social workers heard accounts of multiple physical assaults that several of the children endured at the hands of their traffickers, visible in the scars that were still on their bodies. One of victims told the team “I thank God for removing me from my suffering.”
The police officers said they were taken aback by the conditions they found the children in, and are eager to continue rescuing more victims of trafficking on the lake.