Four people arrested for child trafficking in Ghana
Ghana Police have arrested four people on accusations of trafficking children as young as five, reports the BBC. Police are also pursing two more who are on the run.
Those arrested are accused of sending the children to work in fishing communities near Lake Volta. They are used for untangling nets while diving under water and picking fish from nets. The girls' hands are much less coarse than fishermen's.
It is also not uncommon for Ghanaian families to send their children away in return for payment. High poverty rates have kept this practice going for years. Parents typically receive about $50 to send their child to work for three years.
Joseph Rispoli of the International Organisation For Migration (IOM) said the work is often dangerous.
"Their hands, especially the girls', are not as coarse as the fishermen's hands, so they actually use those little girls to be able to extract the fish from these winch nets."They even cut their hands open on the scales sometimes."
The IOM sees these arrests as a breakthrough because the issue is being taken more seriously than it has been in the past. Approximately 100 children have been identified as being sent to the Lake Volta area. However, because of low funding, the IOM can only rescue about one-third of those children.