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Although parents of former child slaves are now educated about the dangers their children faced, some worry that poverty might tempt them to sell their children again. Lisa says the government of Ghana is working to break that cycle. Although any child in Ghana who wants to attend school must pay, the government is waiving some school fees and offering incentives to parents not to sell their children, Lisa says.

Richard Danziger - the head of counter-trafficking at IOM - says the government of Ghana doesn't have enough resources to fight the problem on its own. He says IOM uses donation money to pay for salaries for counselors, to aid in the rescues of children and to fund the rehabilitation period the children undergo.

Richard estimates that the number of children still enslaved in Ghana is in the high hundreds to low thousands. "This has been going on for decades," he says. "What has started as a sort of apprenticeship has now moved into what we call child trafficking or a form of slavery - just through the change in society, through the extra poverty."

IOM has received many calls and contributions to help the child slaves. Richard says the U.S. State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration funds IOM's program in Ghana, but it isn't enough money to help all the children. Richard says that the more contributions IOM receives, the more children it can help. "Ninety-three percent of the kids we've helped so far, they are back with their families, which is where children should be," Richard says.
FROM: A Special Report: The Little Boy Oprah Couldn't Forget
Published on February 09, 2007


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