Slavery is defined as being restricted of freedom and forced into exhausting labor. Slavery majorly affects the minorities, women and children. Many children are trafficked to fishing slavery and are never seen, or heard of again. In Ghana, along Lake Volta, children are forced into a life of labor, malnutrition, and abuse. The parents of the children are deceived in thinking that their children will attend school in exchange for a few hours of work. Although, the children are actually work 14-hour shifts with only one meal a day. There is no education, escape, and no reprieve. The children face the dangerous duties of casting nets, diving, and hauling. Children often get tangled underwater in the nets and their families never hear from them again.
The first cause of modern slavery in Africa is due to settlers’ interest turning to slave trade in the demand of human labor in the New World. The Portuguese were the first settlers on the Gold Coast where the forts were seized, attacked, exchanged, sold, and abandoned during almost four centuries of struggle between European powers over the Gold Coast. The Swedish Africa Company constructed permanent wooden fortress that was later reconstructed in stone when Danes seized power from the Swedish. These are the causes of modern slavery in Africa.
The economy of Ghana has a diverse and rich resource base which also includes manufacturing and exportation. Ghana has a young age structure, with approximately 57% of the population under the age of 25. Increased life expectancy, due to better health care, nutrition, and hygiene, and reduced fertility have increased Ghana’s share of elderly persons; Ghana’s proportion of persons aged 60+ is among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty has declined in Ghana, but it remains pervasive in the northern region, which is susceptible to droughts and floods and has less access to transportation infrastructure, markets, fertile farming land, and industrial centers. Ghana was a country of immigration in the early years after its 1957 independence, attracting labor migrants largely from Nigeria and other neighboring countries to mine minerals and harvest cocoa. Immigrants composed about 12% of Ghana’s population in 1960.Smaller towns are more likely to fall into slavery because there isn’t any leadership. The Republic of Ghana is named after the medieval West African Ghana Empire. Worsening economic and social conditions discouraged immigration, and hundreds of thousands of immigrants, mostly Nigerians, were expelled.
During the 1970s, severe drought and an economic downturn transformed Ghana into a country of emigration; neighboring Cote d’Ivoire was the initial destination. The empire became known in Europe and Arabia as the Ghana Empire after the title of its emperor, the Ghana. The Gold Coast was a British colony on the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa from 1867 to its independence as the nation of Ghana in 1957. Many Ghanaians then turned to more distant destinations, including other parts of Africa, Europe, and North America, but the majority continued to migrate within West Africa. Since the 1990s, increased emigration of skilled Ghanaians, especially to the US and the UK, drained the country of its health care and education professionals. Internally, poverty and other developmental disparities continue to drive Ghanaians from the north to the south, particularly to its urban centers. Poverty and other developmental disparities continue to drive Ghanaians from the north to the south, particularly to its urban centers.
An IOM intervention made Tornye and other traffickers realize that children shouldn’t be made to work like adults. Tornye is working as a community coordinator for APPLE to stop child trafficking in Ghana. IOM and APPLE both rescue children from trafficking situations and bring them back to their families. Ghana passed a law prohibiting all forms of trafficking in their Human Trafficking Act. If caught trafficking then it is prescribed to a minimum penalty of five years of imprisonment for all forms of trafficking. In June 2009, the government convicted three Chinese nationals of trafficking eight Chinese women to Ghana for exploitation in prostitution. I believe they should reconfigure the work-study program for children and allow them to have their education first then work. These organizations also need funding to help with their work. I believe since IOM and APPLE seem to be the ones majorly making a difference, they should be responsible to help.
Overall, Ghana has tremendously struggled with poverty and child trafficking. Although, statistics have been improving and poverty has decreased as well as child trafficking. The organizations IOM and APPLE are doing their best effort to continue the process of eliminating trafficking.