It takes organization to free a village from modern slavery. In Ghana, that organization has a long name with a short acronym: a Community Child Protection Committee, or CCPC. Helping villagers form these committees is a fundamental element of our community-based approach to ending child trafficking in Ghana.
During my visit to Ghana this summer, I dropped in on the CCPC in a village called Krankuase in the Sene East District of the Bono East Region. They said that they have been very busy.
One of the key goals of any CCPC is educating villagers about child rights, and this group has not only been holding village meetings but has been going door to door to ensure that no child’s family is left behind in the community education process. CCPC members say it’s having an effect. Villagers now understand that sending children to fishing boats to work instead of to school to learn is wrong. Some fishermen are complaining that they are having trouble finding children to put to work on their boats. That’s a good sign!
Another CCPC goal is to be on constant lookout for cases of child trafficking, and to intervene. In Krankuase, the CCPC has reported more than 5 cases of trafficking to the FTS partner MIHOSO and the government’s District Social Welfare Officer for action.
I was impressed that this simple community structure was changing knowledge and attitudes – and making a difference when cases of trafficking have occurred.
The group does have challenges. There have been death threats, they said. And it’s difficult to maintain a physical presence and mobile phone communications in remote corners of the village on a shoestring budget.
But I could see that the key to success for CCPCs is commitment. When people are truly determined to change the conditions that allow child exploitation to flourish in the community, and can see that education and mobilization really work, nothing can stop them.
Editor’s note: This is the final post in our series from FTS Executive Director Bukeni Waruzi about his visit this summer to the front lines of modern slavery in Ghana. See all his Ghana posts and learn more about our Growing up Free program on our Ghana webpage.