Contemporary Slavery: Researching Child Domestic Servitude
Brand: University Press of America

Contemporary Slavery: Researching Child Domestic Servitude

  • Publish Date: 2009-04-16
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: C. Nana Derby

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This book investigates child domestic servitude in Ghana, showing the process of the children's recruitment into domestic servitude, revealing their working conditions, and detailing the methods of compensation. It seeks to answer the question of whether child domestic servants are contemporary slaves. The findings show that elite households in Ghana exploit children from rural regions. This is because they have taken advantage of a historical practice that allowed children to live with older members of their extended families and provide domestic services. In return, they are to be given the chance to receive formal education or to learn a trade. The author's research techniques helped overcome the usual methodical difficulties that exclude child domestic servants from mainstream research on child labor exploitation. The author's approach allowed observation of the servants, not as isolated individuals, but as members of groups whose activities influenced their status and life chances. Most of the participants in this research provided vivid and chilling accounts of domestic servitude in Ghana. The book provides a glimpse of the contemporary slavery that is present in Ghana today.


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