We present this photo documentary captured by our photographer Mariusz Smiejek who was engaging with the local slums communities to better understand conditions in which they live.
Child slaves at the Volta Lake
Photo: Mariusz Smiejek/Between Pictures Project
Lake Volta in Ghana, is home to thousands of child slaves. Children as young as five years old are sold to human traffickers. Fisherman are paying very little money (cost of a cow) to traffickers and then turn children into slaves. Children are then beaten and abused, most of them eating once a day only, and working 7 days a week for 10-12 hours from very early in the morning.
Sometimes, parents are unable to provide for their children and in an effort to provide them with a better future, they send their children to live with relatives or they place them in the care of adults in nearby communities so the children can learn trade for a small amount of money.
Unfortunately for many of the children who live in and around agricultural hubs like the Volta Lake they often end up as victims of child labor.