Trafficked children from Togo engaged in kente weaving business in Ghana

Six children aged between five and 11 years trafficked from neigh­bouring Togo are engaged in kente weaving at Godokpe in Ho in the Volta Region of Ghana.

The children, who have been engaged in the kente weaving business for a num­ber of years, are Nadewortor Rojey, 11, Edzorna Ahiavi, 10, Dzaklu Rojey, 7, Nadewortor Benior, 7, Yorkpe Adzewoda, 6 and Rabla Kwasi, 5 years. They were said to have been trafficked from Kovie near Lome in the Republic of Togo by their brother to work for him in his Kente business.

Kente, which is a locally woven tradi­tional cloth in Ghana, has a high value as it is sold both internationally and locally.

The Chief Executive Officer of ‘Se Eye Woba Anka’ (SEWA), a child-centered non-governmental organisation, Jones Owusu Yeboah, together with the Volta Regional Director of the Department of Women of the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC); Mr Edwin Gamadeku, discovered the children at Godokpe when they visited the communi­ty recently.

According to Mr Yeboah, the NGO which deals with trafficked children was worried over the situation as the country had the potential of losing one big interna­tional trade opportunity sooner or later.

He said the United Nation’s declaration related to the welfare of children empha­sised the preference of children being raised by families, and in Ghana, the Children’s Act (Act 560) of 1998, states that “no person shall deny a child the right to live with his or her parents and fami­lies”.

“We found out that the children were not going to school and spend the day weaving kente”.

An assistant master who was inter­viewed, Dela Segbedzi, said the children were brought into the village from Kovie near Lome in the Republic of Togo and described the situation as alarming.

“Although reports of some people whose business was to traffic children from Ghana to other neighbouring coun­tries have been high; very little is being done about it”, he retorted.

He said many children and their parents believed that going away to work was a route to a better life than education.

“For them, it was more valuable for their children to be given out to work to make money for the family”, he added.

Mr Yeboah said most often, children represented cheap labour and their small nimble fingers were useful in some haz­ardous work such as fishing, mining, cocoa farming and recently, kente weav­ing.

Source: Daily Graphic

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