Because of a story by JHR-trained journalist Maxwell Suuk, a nine year old Nigerian boy trafficked into Ghana has returned to his family.
Suuk learned that a young boy working at a shop selling motorcycle parts in Tamale, Ghana was not attending school, so he decided to investigate. After much patience and persistence, Suuk interviewed the boy. During the conversation the boy revealed that the shop owner was not his father, as popularly believed, and his biological parents were in Nigeria. Suuk discovered that the child’s biological parents had sent him to live with a family friend – the shop owner’s wife – elsewhere in Nigeria. But soon after, and unbeknownst to his parents, the boy was sent to Ghana to work in the motorcycle shop.
Suuk produced a documentary about the boy’s situation for Dimaond FM in Tamale and a listener heard the story and contacted local police. Within days of the story airing, the police took action. They followed up with Suuk, took the shop owner into custody and put the boy under the care of Ghana’s Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit. The child is now being returned to his family in Nigeria.
Suuk has worked with four JHR trainers since 2009: Scott Gill, James Munson, Megan Ainscow, and Gwyneth Dunsford. He recently received the 2012 Ghana Journalists Association Award for best radio feature journalist in Ghana, for a story on rape that he covered with Megan Ainscow.
You can listen to Suuk’s child labor story here: http://soundcloud.com/