Children Who Migrate to Work

Berikisu, an 8 year old in Accra, the capital of Ghana, trades her education and health for money. She balances metal pans of food on her head to carry to customers all day. The weight of the food as caused her persistent pain in her neck and back. At times she falls to the ground. She told IRIN reporters,

“I have a headache and I want my mother to buy me some medicine. I always have pains, in my chest. I have never been to the hospital.”

Berikisu came to Accra to work as thousands of other Ghana’s children do. The U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons Report estimates over 30,000 children work as porters. Even more children are sex workers.

Sheema Sen Gupta of UNICEF said,

“These kids are supposed to be in school. Their health is compromised. We also know that these kids have babies on the streets, which is a maternal health issue.”

In Ghana children’s rights are addressed in dozens of policies, although legislation is not often enforced. Agencies are trying to prevent children from needing to migrate to find work just to eat. Schools are opening so children can eat where they learn.

2 Responses to “Children Who Migrate to Work”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lys Anzia. Lys Anzia said: Children Who Migrate to Work « Mijiza's Blog […]

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