A pinboard by
George Ng

Ph.D in Biotechnology and an expert in Machine Learning


45.8 Million slaves generate over US$30 Billion of income. Do their lives matter?

In The Second Series on human trafficking, we focus on Ghana. The Walk Free Foundation fights human trafficking released the Global Slavery Index for Ghana. Enslaved Ghanaians range from 103,300 - 193,100. Lake Volta. A 400 km long man-made lake where 40,000 very young children work. 21,000 of them trafficked.

James Kofi Annan was enslaved at age 6. Well dressed men and well turned out children paraded before his illiterate parents. Traffickers promised his parents education and a job for James. Sold to fish operators instead for as little as $20, he faced hazardous work conditions from 3 am to 8 pm. With meager food and no pay. beaten by cruel handlers when he attempted to run away. On another occasion, he saw a boy beaten to death. Many drown when tossed overboard to salvage a $200 net. Some died from malaria.

7 years later James finally did escape and buried himself in education. Attended university and worked in the Barclays Bank of Ghana. In 2003 he set up Challenging Heights. A charity that aims to end child trafficking, reduce child slavery. It promotes children's rights by providing education for former Lake Volta slaves. And offers micro-businesses for mothers to keep their children in school.

Mabels' mother died when she was a young girl and sent to live with relatives. Her grandfather sold her into slavery to recoup the cost of her mother's burial. On her arrival at Lake Volta, Mabel recalls scared because the lake is very big. When the wind is blowing, you can go down, and you will die. Forced to fold fishing nets and cook for workers. And to fish late at night with little sleep. Beaten often when she did not comply to cook after a long day's work. Her only consolation was when storms disrupt fishing work.

James' team visited fishing communities, to find children sold into slavery. Traveling to Lake Volta they found Mabel. She settled in a school that James founded. Linda a school teacher says that Mabel loves school and has learned English. “Mabel’s future is bright. She is a very intelligent girl. She’s very clever.” Mabel has dreams for the future “I want to become a nurse,”. Mabel’s triumphant journey from slave to aspiring student became a mini-documentary. In the Discovery Channels video series Discovery Learning Alliance.