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As Child Trafficking Risks Rise, How Can Churches Help Protect Children?

When Godwin was in his mid-teens, a nightmare unfolded that would disrupt his academic dreams, steal him away from his family, and leave him fearing for his life: he was trafficked into Ghana’s fishing industry.

It all started innocently enough. Godwin was living with his Aunt Jessie, who helped send Godwin to school as his parents couldn’t afford the costs. Godwin, a highly intelligent young man, loved school and was passionate about his studies. So when a woman turned up during the school holidays claiming to be a member of his extended family, with the offer of taking him on a trip to see extended family and purchase schoolbooks, it sounded like an exciting promise.

The reality turned out to be very different. As the days went on, Godwin started to grow anxious that he wouldn’t be back home in time for term to start. But the woman insisted that they keep travelling. She brought him to the home of a fisherman on Lake Volta – the largest manmade lake in the world, stretching over hundreds of miles of flooded forest. When he woke up the next morning, the woman had disappeared, leaving Godwin miles from home and with no way to contact his family. He realised the awful truth: she had sold him.

Godwin was forced by the fisherman into hard, dangerous work: rising before dawn to untangle fishing nets beneath the lake’s surface. It was a risky task, as it’s easy to become tangled beneath the surface – sadly, some children trafficked onto Lake Volta do not survive.

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(c) The Christian Today, used with permission