Their tasks ranged from casting nets to paddling the boats and bailing water from the boats during fishing, all the while facing abuse from the fishermen who enslaved them and prevented them from going to school.
While not all the children are sure how long they have worked on the lake, some guessed it had been three to five years since they first were trafficked.
"After understanding that they had been rescued, they were happy and advocated for other children who are facing similar plight to be rescued as well," an IJM investigator shared.
The survivors are in a safe shelter to receive care and education. IJM's aftercare team will be assessing the unique needs of each child, in order to create a plan for each boy to received appropriate psychosocial support as they recover from trauma.
This rescue was the first operation conducted with the police from this specific region of Ghana. Four suspects have been arrested and are waiting for trial.
"The support of the Police Command was remarkable, especially in mobilising personnel and vehicular logistics for the operation," said an IJM investigator.
In addition to rescuing four boys off the lake, the successful operation coordinated between the police and IJM also led to the arrest of four suspects.
Our upcoming Liberate 2020 events in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne will focus on ending child trafficking on Lake Volta. Hear from IJM Ghana's Anita Budu as we seek justice together through story, song and prayer.
Sydney: Saturday 28 March > Register now
Brisbane: Monday 30 March > Register now
Melbourne: Wednesday 1 April > Register now
International Justice Mission is a global organisation that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems.Find out more
Comfort. For every gift of $31 you can provide the equivalent of immediate aftercare for a survivor of trafficking
Get the latest news from IJM's teams on the ground.