Research conducted by Challenging Heights, a non-governmental organization has revealed that over 60% of children living in the fishing communities along the Volta Lake are child labourers.
President of Challenging Heights, James Kofi Annan, addressing a press conference explained that the research they conducted took three months to be completed.
The study took place in five districts of Volta lake, where 2,990 children were interviewed.
“Overall, the research took three months to complete, and the children interviewed were divided into groups between 5 and 9 years, between 10 and 14 years and between 15 and 17 years and these are ILO categorisation for research.”
“Among work these children had to do among male child labourers include paddling canoes which has 46%, 32% for children who scooped water in canoes, 35% for children who were casting nets and 33% for children who were pulling nets.”
“With the females, we had higher percentages coming from those who were fetching firewood, so we had 34% of children who were females fetching firewood. Those cooking for the fishing companies we had 23% and those processing fish, we had 35%. Our study found out that 61% of child labourers were male and 39% of them were females which stand in contrast with ILO which indicates that 87% of child labourers in Ghana’s fisheries industries were boys.”
“The difference in disparities between our study and that of others is that other study found that more boys were in child labour than girls. We found out that more boys were in child labour than girls. We found out that it’s true, but our percentages of boys who were in child labour were closer to girls who were in child labour”, James Kofi Annan said.
The research dubbed “children hidden in plain sights, a report on the state of child labour in the fishing industry of lake Volta” was released to commemorate World Day Against Child Labour, 2022.
He further revealed at the presser that not only child labourers on the lake were interviewed, but also children who normally don’t work so much in public.
He said with the different categories of labour, such as cooking and fish processing, which might happen mostly behind closed doors, the study saw that more female children were in child labour than had been previously assumed.
He added that among the 1,794 children characterised as child labourers, 1,389 representing 77% were assaulted in one way or the other, while 730 representing 41% showed signs of abuse.