Engage Now Africa (ENA), in partnership with End Modern Slavery (EMS) and Human Trafficking Child Labour, has organized a sensitization program for the people of Aflive, an Island community in the Ada East District of the Greater Accra Region.
The program formed part of measures to tackle modern slavery and how members in the community can collaborate with the NGO and other state institutions to put an end to such practices in their community.
The participants were taken through what modern slavery is, forms of modern slavery, effects of modern slavery and remedies to put an end to such bad practices.
Speaking to the media after the community engagement, Mr. Afasi Komla, Director of Operations for Engage Now Africa (ENA), who doubles as the Leader of End Modern Slavery (EMS), said their vision is to create awareness, advocate against modern slavery and facilitate a deeper understanding of human trafficking in high-risk communities.
He added that his team also partners with other agencies such as the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Police Service, among other governmental and non-governmental organizations, to help prevent human trafficking in Africa.
He further pleaded with the participants and the community to help end all forms of modern slavery and also charged the fetish priest and pastors in the community to desist from all forms of religious attacks on women and children such as human sacrifice adding that, such acts are against the law.
Madam Lydia Ohenewaa, Child Assessment and Event Planner for End Modern Slavery (EMS) disclosed that children below the age of 18 are not supposed to engage themselves in any tedious work according to the 1998 Constitution Acts 560.
She noted that debt bondage is one of the forms of human trafficking parents engage in, although they do not recognize it as a crime.
“In debt bondage, parents who owe someone and cannot afford to pay to send their children to the lender to serve them and, in return, they end up putting the lives of those children in danger, which is against the law” she lamented.
According to Madam Ohenewaa, other forms of human trafficking such as “domestic servitude are happening in some communities, but we do not see them as offensive.”
She also explained that “a mother asking her daughter to clean the house, wash clothes and wash the dishes, among other things, before that child eats is a form of abuse because that alone can affect the child’s physical, mental and emotional being.”
She noted that children are the future leaders of this country therefore mothers, especially, must take good care of their wards so that they can enjoy the fruit of their labour in the future.
Yomo Siameh Gbedayikpe, the Chief Priest of Aflive Island, expressed gratitude to the team for the education and pledged that their outfit shall collaborate with ENA, EMS, other NGO’s and government agencies to see how best they can find a lasting solution to the problem child abuse and its related activities.
“Regarding the act of human sacrifices and the practice of Trokosi system in the shrine, it is entirely the act of parents who usually bring such atrocities upon themselves. Some parents do wrong but remain tight-lipped so at the end of the day, the gods themselves will bring them to the shrine and strike them to death. Sometimes too, the shrine can point out to any of their daughters to come and serve at the shrine” he explained
He said since they have been educated on such harmful and unlawful practices, there is a need to put an end to them.
However, Daniel Agyakpa, The Assembly Member of Aflive Island thanked the organizers of the event for bringing such a useful forum to their doorsteps and charged residents to renew their minds by putting a stop to all forms of modern slavery because the assembly itself has laws which is against child labour, child trafficking among others.