Home > General News > Trokosi practice still popular in Ghana-Research

Trokosi practice still popular in Ghana-Research

A new research finding has revealed that the controversial ‘trokosi’ system is still active in the country despite being outlawed in 1998. The ‘trokosi’ practice is a traditional cult system in which young virgin girls are confined to fetish shrines as reparation to deities for wrong allegedly committed by their family members.

How do Ghanaians feel about this practice?

The majority of the respondents condemned the system and wondered why action was not taken by law enforcement agencies and stakeholders to end the practice. Only a few respondents wanted the practice to be protected.

Some comments follow below

It’s really a shame for a country priding itself as the first country south of the sahara to liberate itself from the shackles of colonial domination only to end up practising this barbaric practise of man subjecting his fellow man to servitude in bondage.

What do we pay our members of parliament for ?

How long will they keep on saying they are the representatives of the people if the people they are supposed to represent in parliament are in bondage ?

Will the country wake up from its slumber ?

I thought this practice had been eliminated a couple of years ago?

Who is there to ensure that this ‘obsolete’ practices like this cease to exist?

Trokosi shrines run like businesses in which material goods and money are paramount. Priests will generally not even see visitors unless they are accompanied by an offering. Shrine owners, to whom fetish priests are accountable, are elderly members of the clan or family that owns the fetish shrine, and like the priests, they reap economic benefits from trokosi slavery. For both groups, trokosi slaves are a special and very welcome windfall. Priests often force slaves to work more than 12 hours a day, often in the hot sun, and do not compensate them for their work. Slaves must turn over to the priest the majority of any earnings they collect from farming and petty trading. The priest provides no financial support whatsoever to his slaves, making them dependent upon their families for sufficient food and clothing. Yet many families are afraid to visit their daughters at the shrines or do not have the resources to provide food and clothing, leaving many shrine slaves in a state of perpetual malnourishment and even semi-starvation. Furthermore, priests prohibit all fetish slaves from attending school and deny them any form of health care.

Why is Ghana still tolerating the practice of trokosi slavery? And violating its obligations as signatory to the Forced Labor Convention and the Abolition of Forced Labor Convention? These two define “forced or compulsory labour” as all work or service “exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily.”

Both Conventions require state parties to undertake to suppress the use of forced or compulsory labor within the shortest possible period. Yet under the custom of trokosi, families continue to give away their virgin daughters to shrines where priests force girls to labor in order to generate substantial personal income for themselves and shrine owners. If the girls attempt to escape or fail to fulfill their duties, the priests beat them.

In addition to the clear economic advantages that these fetish priests and shrine owners enjoy, trokosi priests also have absolute sexual control over their slaves and justify raping them by claiming that trokosi slaves are like priestesses who copulate with the gods through their earthly servants, the priests.

In the Volta Region of Ghana, the trokosi practice is most prevalent among the Ewes of Tongu and Anlo.
Within these communities, the number of children a man begets determines his status, thus a fetish priest elevates his status within the community by impregnating many trokosi slaves. As a consequence, once trokosi slaves have had one menstrual cycle, priests rape them on a regular basis.

Why should be this be allowed to take place in the 21st Century?

Ghana’s Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice conducted an investigation of the trokosi shrines, finding that the trokosi practice discriminates against women and children. As a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women , Ghana is bound to abolish all existing laws, regulations, and customs that constitute discrimination against women as well as ensure the full development and advancement of womenand provide equal access to education for both genders. Yet under the trokosi practice, families send only girls to the shrines, where they are raped, denied basic life necessities, including access to education, and are so stigmatized that even when released, many will suffer lifelong societal rejection.


Clearly, trokosi slavery violates the rights of these children by condoning, if not encouraging, the mass rape of children, their forced labor, and denial of their education.

It’s a shame that no effective ‘structures’ were put in place to completely eradicate this despicable practice. A clear indication of our inabillty to sustain things in our system….


Tribalists should take their nonsense out to the sea.
This practice is carried on by few individuals – and it is not a tribal thing.
All should condemn and fight to eliminate antiquated and dehumanizing cultural and traditional practices, such as Trokosi, polygamy and the sacrificing of humans to “accompany” dead chiefs – to the next world.
Most of these barbaric practices occur in all geographical areas of Ghana and the perpetrators must be dealt with harshly by the laws of the land.

kThe practice of trokosi is a crime and it should be stopped completely. Human beings are not animals to be sacrificed. The government should move quickly to arrest and jail those who are still perpetuating this evil and dehumanizing practice of keeping and abusing young innocent girls confined in these ‘shrines.’

very primitive idea…this is human enslavement by those who have no respect for womanhood; they’ve never believed in respect for womanhood and democracy, no wonder they could kill and maime their fellow human beings and country men in their own homeland in the name of revolution, yet still they have the gut to preach democracy; its a big shame and hypocrisy of the highest order.

Why do the British and their cry babies like (Australia, Canada, USA and New Zealand) want to destroy our forefather’s Tradition of good faith that has been use to fight those who choose to Secretly Commit CRIMES thinking they can get away with it? We are African, most importantly Ewes and will not succumb to any external pressure to abandon our Tradition. They have destroyed the Traditions of “The Native Indians in Canada, The US, South America Aztecs, Maoris of New Zealand, and the Australian Natives just to mention few.

Recently in Australia, a Native tribe which has been into hiding for been destroyed, surfaced with only less than 20 people. He is an Australian Native man who went into hiding with his wife are able to have off springs which total not more than 20 after all these years, when the British convicts were discarded onto that Land, which is Australia today. A bout two months ago they used aerial Cameras equipped to military planes to capture the images and hiding caves of another South American Native tribe that went into hiding after been feared eradication

The Trokosi Shrines don’t go after these Girls but their families are paying for what they sow. If any of you who criticize the practice should be bold to find the families of any of these girls, you will then understands why. From the Volta Region, through Togo, Benin and may be some parts of Nigeria, some Ethnics knows what is a WRONG DOING and once you think you can secretly commit the crime and get away with it, please NO your shadow will be chased until you pay the price openly which are these Trokosi young girls. I challenge any of you arguing here to try to commit a crime secretly against any TRUE EWE and see if you can get away with it. Please give it a try. You will live to regret it with your NIECES becoming Trokosi girls. NYEGBE DZE ANYI.

Vedua your comment is the worst i ever read in this forum. if that is your thinking, you are the worst human being. in ghana from the north, south, east and west, we all have our bad side, but if you can read and write and i know you are at least educated, you will know that, if someone’s parent commit a crime, should not be paid by their offspring. History proves that, all of our leaders bcos of power donot want to interfere much with those crazy traditions and you wait. i assure you and i promise you. a day is coming and we will have a strong leaders who will stop all these crazy acts in peace or pieces. you are a disgrace to wherever you comes from and a threat to our good ewe brethren and you own all those inocent young girls who has been abuse an apology. bastard.

Put sanctions to enable the Ghana government including to abide by the rights of humanity instead of debating freedom of Maffia criminals Ewe inventive trokosti os a religion using and raping children under 12 years in stupid vooodoooo shrine. A pride of Ghana tourism attraction indeed. Oh the gate way to Africa? Upon our dreams. PURELY CHILD ABUSE.

Religion is a the first form of human consciousness. Do Australians practice any form of religion. Australia have Christians, Muslims and Buddhist. The question to ask here is when is a child baptized in to the religions in Australia? Are there nuns in Australia. If it is true that children are baptized into various religions in Australia and there are also nuns, imams and Buddhist monks there, then what crime has the African committed to have nuns and apprentice priest in his or her shrine. Is it the same game that the African was brought down from the tree by Arabs and thought language and religion , so emanating from that the Africans form of religious worship is evil. How many people are raped and defiled by catholic priests in U.S. every day. Why don’t the U.S. Congress and Senate call for the abolition of the Catholic Church. How many aboriginals in Australia were forcefully plugged by the church from their parents and abused. Why the Australian hypocrites don’t call on their government to abolish the churches there. I wrote on this forum that if the phobia that Christians who wish to abolish all forms of traditional religion see in their sleep exist there will not be the Doctor Attis, Kluvi, Klu and Kluvitses. It is said that when you repeat every day that some one is a thief people will come to believe what you say. What is being done religiously may sound right, but legally and morally its wrong.

Please Kwame, get it straight into your greasy hair that two wrongs does not make right. I personally wouldn’t like to be tutored or have any schooling from the white hypocrites who has committed more crime on this earth than any other persons in this world. However, this trokosi practice in our beloved Ghana does not bode well for a nation who is trying to find our feet to stand on in this treacherous world hence the concern of your fellow countyrmen. Do you realise that most of the priest found in the rest of the world abusing children are prosecuted. I hope the legal proceedings against the catholic priests in the United States are great testimony. The trokosi priests are lazy bunch of criminals capitalising on the ignorance of their vulnerable victims. They should go and find some proper trade to engage in than to abuse our innocent girls.

Categories: General News
  1. June 30, 2009 at 6:28 am

    Thank God for the research, but really, did it take research to know that trokosi is still practiced in Ghana? All of us working on the ground with the affected children know that it is still practiced. Of course it is still practiced, because the law has never been enforced. Did we think that a law alone, without enforcement, could end this crime against humanity? No. Trokosi will end when the law is enforced, or when people gain the will to see it abolished, not on paper, but in practice. Join us in praying that THAT day will come quickly. For more information visit http://www.ecmafrica.org.

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