Aspiring for a better livelihood, migrants from Cote d’Ivoire frequently cross the border to Ghana in search of greener and more fertile lands. Due to financial hardship, they were deceived into taking jobs without reviewing their authenticity and even gave out their children to labor. However, little do most migrants know that some “job opportunities” can lead to exploitation or human trafficking—something that frequently occurs in Ghanaian communities like Jamera.
Situated on the border of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire is an impoverished farming community, Jamera. This community is known as a hot spot for traffickers because of the lack of access to sufficient jobs and education. Another major cause of trafficking or exploitation is the consistent migration and cross-border farming due to family ties across the border or seasonal demand for labor. All of these factors render the Jamera community especially vulnerable to trafficking.
By identifying the cause of modern slavery in Jamera, Free the Slaves is better equipped to help and partner with local grassroots organizations such as the Community Protection Committees (CPC). Formed in response to abuse and enslavement, the CPC works to preserve individuals’ rights by hosting community forums and canvassing door-to-door. Through community outreach, the CPC educates vulnerable communities on how to protect themselves from potential victimization.
The executive director of Free the Slaves, Bukeni Waruzi, recently visited the CPC. Director Waruzi was able to share FTS experiences and programs that have been successful in raising community awareness and protecting vulnerable people against modern slavery. During his visit with the CPC, Bukeni Wauzi was also able to help the group establish a community-based strategy to create self-sustaining information cycles and support networks, thus truly eradicating slavery from the root of the Jamera community.
Through discussions with survivors, partnership with many CBOs, and a wealth of experience, Director Waruzi helped create the CPC’s road map to freedom.