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INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY AND FORCED CHILD LABOR IN GHANA

Slavery has been long abolished for centuries but unfortunately, there are children in Ghana who suffer a form of “modern-day slavery” now. This is a practice that has gone on for long in some parts of Ghana.
This occurs when families go for other people’s children under the guise to educate them but rather put them into servitude. Most of these children are minors who most times, do not understand the situation they find themselves in.

In addition, it is a form of unpaid work and forced labour that needs to be eradicated.

Although this is not the case for every child in this type of predicament, most children who find themselves in these circumstances lose a large part of their childhood in servitude to families especially those who live in the big cities.

I had a first-hand experience as a child when I was sent off to live with a family in the city. The plan was to serve them for a few years in exchange for education to any level I desired and a monthly allowance sent to my parents.
But that was not the case when I settled with them.

I served them in the capacity of a storekeeper during my stay there. I enjoyed no holidays or off days. I was beaten like a thief every time the books at the store didn’t balance.
Stories such as mine are common in Ghana and I can bet my last money you have also witnessed it but have not thought much of it.

The promises to educate me were never fulfilled. There are so many children who find themselves in this predicament not knowing where to turn to.

No child has to face this type of abuse in a civilized society such as ours. It is almost becoming a part of our culture and norm and it should be discontinued.

To put an end to these practices, people should report families who force children into servitude to the appropriate authorities. This will discourage others from engaging in such practices.

We all have a collective responsibility to ensure that children stay in school, are well catered for. Slavery and anything that can lead to it should not be entertained.

December 2, 2019

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