In the United States, it can be all too easy to think of slavery as a thing of antiquity—a horrible historic atrocity that has thankfully been abolished in the present day. This view is sadly naïve, as slavery is still a worldwide epidemic—and it’s affecting children most of all.
The Truth About Child Slavery
In fact, though slavery exists in many modern-day forms. Children make up more than a quarter of the world’s slave population. According to some estimates, there are more than 5.5 million child slaves in the world. What these kids are forced to do is unspeakable: Commercial sex acts, forced domestic servitude, or simply grinding, grueling work that is mentally and physically shattering.
Child slavery exists for many reasons, but most of them boil down to hard economics. There is a heavy demand, in many impoverished countries, for cheap labor, and child slaves unfortunately fit that qualification. Moreover, many production processes require childlike agility, small hands, etc. that make under-age workers seem like a necessity. All the while, price pressure compels major suppliers to seek out the cheapest labor possible. Children who grow up in poverty can be all too willing to accept these barbaric conditions, perhaps voluntarily or perhaps forced by their parents. For many child slaves, there simply aren’t any other viable options to choose from.
Indeed, poverty is the prime motivator of child slavery, so it comes as no big surprise that this abominable practice is most common in places where money is scarce, educational opportunities are almost non-existent, and chances for a better life seem like fantasies. This includes many parts of Africa—including Ghana, where Father's House Ghana is active.
Abolishing Child Slavery
We can all agree that child slavery is something that needs to be stricken from our global culture now—but of course, you can’t just snap your fingers to make it so. Child slavery cannot be abolished through something as simple as a legislative act. Rather, the way to eradicate it is to eliminate the conditions that make child slavery happen in the first place.
That’s a big part of our mission here at Father's House Ghana. Through The Jeremiah Project, we provide scholarships and apprenticeships to local kids, showing them that there is a better future awaiting them. We provide housing and support for kids who come from poverty, and we try to empower families to become self-sufficient, prospering rather than sinking under poverty.
Through these efforts we hope to make child slavery a thing of the past—and we hope you will join us. Please consider making a donation to Father's House Ghana, or sponsoring a child, today.