Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rageh Omaar Reports

Child Slavery

Brad Newsome, Reviewer
June 13, 2008

Former BBC correspondent Rageh Omaar returned to his native Somalia and travelled to Ethiopia, Ghana and Peru to make this depressing documentary about child labour. Most of the children are slaves to circumstance, rather than to a master.

In the independent but unrecognised republic of Somaliland, Omaar meets a young tribal goat herder and a 10-year-old boy who supports his family by working 17-hour days, while in Peru he meets another primary school-age boy who risks his health and his life by sneaking into a mine and working long hours in search of stray specks of gold. In Ghana, however, he finds true slaves, young boys sold for a pittance by desperate parents to the brutal overseers of fishing boats that ply Lake Volta.

The boys get none of the money or education they were so cruelly promised, they're worked like dogs, they're regularly beaten, they have chronic health problems that go untreated and they live in constant fear of being killed by lake monsters or drowning in their own nets. Sad, sad stuff.

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