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Rescuing Ghana's child slaves is not easy. Eric has a list of 25 children that the IOM would like to liberate, but first, he must convince the fishermen who "own" these boys and girls to agree.

Eric begins negotiations by appealing to the men's softer sides, Lisa says. Then, he offers them incentives like new nets and fishing equipment that would decrease the need for child labor. Occasionally, the IOM also helps the fishermen change career paths and find new ways to support their families.

During this rescue mission, negotiations get off to a rough start. Lisa and Eric encounter a fisherman who owns four children, but he refuses to set them free.

Then, they begin to have more luck. Eric convinces the masters of many young children to let them go. "I can only imagine what's going through their minds right now," Lisa says. "I'm sure they're a little traumatized by what's going on over here."

Moments after being rescued, the children are given plates piled high with food. After surviving for years on just one meal a day, Lisa says the children go back for seconds and thirds. She also notices that they are starting to smile again. It's a familiar scene for Never, who still remembers the happiness he felt the day he was rescued.

At the end of the mission, Eric and his team manage to rescue 21 of the 25 children on the list.
FROM: A Special Report: The Little Boy Oprah Couldn't Forget
Published on February 09, 2007


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