OAfrica reinforces its commitment to prevent child slavery on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Today, December 2, marks the anniversary of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others from 1949.  The focus of this day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labor, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

According to à recent UNICEF report, more than 160 million children were subjected to child labour at the beginning of 2020, with 9 million additional children at risk due to the impact of COVID-19. This accounts for nearly 1 in 10 children worldwide.  Almost half of them are in hazardous work that directly endangers their health and moral development.

The consequences of child labour and slavery are staggering. Child labour can result in physical and mental harm and sometimes death. It can lead to sexual and economic exploitation and almost always cuts off the opportunity for education and health care.  Children lose their fundamental human rights and their futures are completely threatened, according to UNICEF.

“Children who come from families in poverty are particularly vulnerable to child trafficking and child slavery,” according to OAfrica founder Lisa Lovatt-Smith.  “OAfrica is actively fighting for the rights of these children thus helping to prevent dangerous child traffickers from accessing more children for their own profit.”

But how does OAfrica fight for the rights of vulnerable and orphaned children in Ghana?  According to Lovatt-Smith, the key to protecting children’s rights is to make sure that all orphaned and vulnerable children are taken out of orphanages and institutions and placed into à stable home environment, whether it is foster care or placing the child with à distant living relative.

“We strongly believe that to secure à healthy future, all children need à stable home environment, access to education, access to healthcare and à vision for their future.  This is what we fight for, and in doing so, we help prevent traffickers and other child predators from enslaving children,” said the OAfrica founder.

Specifically OAfrica:

  • helps institutionalised children receive placement in à family or foster care
  • Provides support for children to receive primary, secondary, and higher education
  • Trains and supports foster parents
  • Provides job training opportunities for both young adults and families so that they can afford to keep their children at home and provide them with à brighter future

Along with other organizations such as UNICEF,  OAfrica has been instrumental in helping children in Ghana leave institutionalised care, such as orphanages, which are often an entry point for child traffickers, and find a secure, stable home environment.

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Thanking you in advance for your interest and help.

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