Thursday, 12 July 2007

The price of a child

About £7.50 or $15 if you live in Ghana and your mother sells you along with your three younger siblings.

Imagine the poverty you must be experiencing to feel you have to sell your children. At the time Abena Nyenyanu sold her four she was selling porridge to support them. She was reunited with them after five years under a scheme in Ghana to bring families back together.

A half-way house has been set up in Accra to help children who have been trafficked in this way. They are given medical treatment, schooling, counselling and life skills training before being brought back to their parents after several months. The parents are given income generating skills in case poverty will tempt them to do the same thing again.

Two years ago a law was passed in Ghana to allow prosecution of parents who sell their children to traffickers. The government wants to start enforcing the law, now that awareness of it is widespread. "The grace period is over".

From IRIN reports


  1. I wonder: Who are the buyers?

    Do you know anything about that matter?

  2. Apparently it's a global problem but the majority are trafficked within their own country. People buy them to do work such as domestic duties, or in fishing, mining and agriculture. Most parents are persuaded by promises that their children will be better off, well treated and maintain contact with the family. They are also told the child will be returned with money they have earned but that almost never happens.

    The reason it appears acceptable to the parents is that in many African countries, children are "given" to relatives who are better off or have no children of their own. They remain in contact with their own family but also become part of the new family. So the concept isn't as alien to them as it might be to us. Then when poverty increased the lure of money meant the trade could develop.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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