According to the International Labour Organization, a large proportion of victims of forced labor worldwide are trapped in domestic servitude.1 This includes Ghana where about 1.2 million children are forced to undertake hazardous child labor, some of whom are in child domestic servitude.2
To combat forced labor in domestic work, the Domestic Workers Convention No.189 (C189) calls on governments to take measures to protect and to extend national legal protections to domestic workers. It is vital that Ghana ratifies C189 to ensure the government commits to taking action to address domestic slavery in Ghana.
Ratification is the first step to help protect children like Abigail,3 who at the age of 12, was willingly given by her parents to a trader who promised to take good care of her and send her to school. Unfortunately, they had ignorantly sentenced their precious daughter to five years in domestic slavery. Abigail was denied her basic rights — she suffered physical and emotional abuse and did not go to school. “For five years, each morning, I sent [my employer’s] children to school and left them there. But then I returned sadly to resume my work” said Abigail when she finally gained her freedom.
- http://www.statsghana.gov.gh/docfiles/glss6/GLSS6_Labour%20Force%20Report.pdf ↩
- http://www.ilo.org/ipec/Informationresources/WCMS_IPEC_PUB_7798/lang–en/index.htm ↩
- Victim’s name changed to protect her identity. Personal interview by Challenging Heights. ↩