Ghana's Lake Volta is the largest man-made lake in the world by surface area and, among other things, is the workplace of thousands of enslaved children, may of whom were sold by their own extended family members in whose care they'd been left for as little as $50 (USD). Unfortunately, this is not a unique phenomenon throughout the practice of modern-day slavery, but is perhaps something many in developed countries do not quite realize.
Lake Volta's waters are ridden with tree branches and roots beneath its shallow surface that continuously snag fishing lines and nets dropped by fishermen in the region. The children enslaved to these fishermen -- often despite not having learned to swim properly -- are sent in the water to untangle the nets. Needless to say, aside from being bad for business, these children's safety is not a priority of their captors.
These images were taken on a mission to help document and uncover the spread of children that had been trafficked from Ghana's poorest costal villages to the Northeastern Volta region. In many cases, rescued children who are returned to their families are often still at incredible risk of returning to their previous situation if not cared for, educated, or even taken in by volunteers along the coastal cities from where they are often bought or taken.
Medium: 35mm film