THLD: Government develops child labour monitoring system
|Acts Of Child Labour|| |
The Government has developed the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring system to help identify children at risk and already in the worst forms of child labour in the cocoa sector with appropriate referral systems for remediation.
Mr Sekyere Antwi-Boasiako, Deputy Minister for Employment and Social Welfare, said there was the need to eliminate child labour from the cocoa sub-sector, noting that, the commodity contributed to the country’s Gross Domestic Product and development.
Mr Antwi-Boasiako, said this at the opening of a two-day district level consultative workshop for Cocoa growing areas on the international labour organisation’s (ILO) new Cocoa Community Project (CCP) at Twifo-Praso, in the Twifo Hermang District of the Central Region on Monday.
“To eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour from the Cocoa sub-industry is therefore a necessary task, which must be done. But if we must do it well then we need not disregard the complex nature of the phenomenon, including the cultural and traditional challenges involved in combating the practice,” he added.
He said the CCP was a strategic approach and a composite development programme for Cocoa communities to achieve the aim of eliminating child labour.
“As Partners we are all aware of the negative consequences of child labour which does not only affect the child but the whole community and the country at large,” he noted.
Mr Antwi-Boasiko, explained that, not too long ago, the menace became an international issue, which nearly threatened the entire Cocoa industry in Ghana, adding that, the world was about to boycott Cocoa produced in Ghana, if it was produced by the labour of children.
He urged the district to seize the opportunity offered by the project to make a difference in the elimination of worst forms of child labour in their communities.
Mr Foster Joseph Andoh, District Chief Executive for Twifo Hermang Lower Denkyira said most of the time, all the various areas where the menace existed also experience poverty and under development.
“The reason being that the children, who are to get proper education to help in developing the areas, do not get the opportunity, hence under development and poverty,” he added.
He said the district was ever ready to support the ILO by way of paying its counterpart fund on time, while its technical officers were ready to bring their expertise on board.
“We are ready to do all we can because the children in this district are the future of the district, if they lose out in education, then the future will be very bleak for the development of the area,” he explained.
Mrs Miriam Gachago, Chief Technical Advisor for ILO, urged the district to seize the opportunity and make the Central Region child labour free zone, particular where 34 per cent of children were engaged in one hazardous activity, at least in all sectors, whiles 11 per cent were believed to be in hazardous work in the Cocoa sector.
She called on all partners to ensure a united effort in planning the project interventions in order to eliminate these forms of child labour, adding that, the key to effective development was partnership.
She expressed the hope that the good experience used to implement other ILO projects in the past would be replicated on the new project.
She said the US Department of Labour was committed to the fight against child labour, hence its continuous support in that direction.