Trafficking in persons; especially children, have been a major concern in the fields of medicine, early childhood development, and social welfare among others. The impact of trafficking on victims of all ages is devastating. However, after their rescue, intervention processes have been rehabilitation and reintegration into societies of origin in most instances. The current study investigated the experiences of child victims rescued from fishing on Lake Volta, Ghana and reunited with their families in communities from where they were once trafficked. The study explored (a) whether or not reintegrated trafficked victims of school going age were placed in school; (b) whether or not reintegration connotes the absence of exploitative work and (c) if reintegrated children are free from other abuses aside exploitative work. Taking a qualitative approach of enquiry, the study purposively selected 24 participants with whom data was generated through in-depth interviews using an interview guide. It was found that how each participant experienced the core themes – education, exploitative work and other abuses - was dependent on the condition of the home the child was returned to. While some homes supported participants to escape work and abuse, others could not do so given the poor prevailing conditions in some instances. The study therefore recommends a holistic intervention package to make for a safe haven.
Key Take Away Points
- The home of origin is not always the best place to return survivors of trafficking
- The rescue, rehabilitate and return approach needs intensive follow-ups to be successful
- It is possible for survivors of trafficking to be further abused by those meant to protect them after reintegration
Emma S. Hamenoo is a social worker by profession with a PhD in social work. Her doctoral thesis was focused on the three dimensions of trafficked victims’ life - life before trafficking, life during trafficking and life after trafficking. Having worked with the University of Ghana for many years, Emma is currently an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Nord Universitet, Norway. Geraldine Macdonald is a professor in Social Work with a keen interest in Social Policy and Social care. Having worked with Queen’s University for many years, Geraldine is currently with the University of Bristol where she is undertaking several projects mostly in health and social care. Edmond Kwablah Hamenoo is an economist with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Ghana and a master’s in International Fisheries Management from the Arctic University of Norway. Currently, he is serving as the Director of a private school.
Hamenoo, Emma Seyram; Macdonald, Geraldine; and Hamenoo, Edmond Kwablah
"Safe at Home? Narratives of Reintegrated Victims of Child Trafficking from Lake Volta, Ghana,"
Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk: Vol. 11:
1, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/childrenatrisk/vol11/iss1/9