Gregory*

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CHF met Gregory while searching for more victims of child trafficking in Senya Beraku.  Gregory was a remarkable boy because he was always smiling despite experiencing terrible things while being exploited as a trafficked child.  He was the only one out of seven children who was trafficked, leaving at the young age of five for the fishing community of Yeji.  As we see in many cases of trafficking, he was brought there by a family member, his grandmother.  He was forced to go onto Lake Volta and haul in the fishing nets, sometimes going into the water to disentangle them.  Most days he worked from 3am till 9am and spent the rest of the day maintaining the nets and boat.  Occasionally, when the wind was too strong to go onto the lake and fish, Gregory and other child labourers were able to slip away and play football.  He stayed with other trafficked children in a one room house.  While in Yeji, Gregory knew four other boys from Senya Beraku who had been trafficked to work for fishermen.  He also knew of four boys who had drowned while trying to disentangle nets from tree stumps at the bottom of Lake Volta.  His mother was not advanced any money when Gregory left and did not receive any compensation when he returned.  He did not receive any form of pay while labouring in Yeji either.  Even though the work was challenging, Gregory always tried to make light of the situation he was in.  Reunited with his family, his only wish is to attend school so he can learn and have fun with his friends.



*Names have been changed for privacy.

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