Ghana Needs Stronger Policies to Fight Child Labour

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Ghana, yesterday, joined the rest of the world to mark the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL), with a call for the implementation of effective laws and policies which would protect children from being exploited.

Though the menace still remains a critical national issue, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) says, government is doing all it can to address the situation.

According to the Director of Special Duties at the Ministry, Dr S.B Amponsah, the government of Ghana under the auspices of the Employment ministry had successfully launched the phase two of the national plan of action for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour.

Government had also embarked on the “Operation Get Off The Streets Now For A Better Life,” to fight the menace.

The initiative would see to it that the streets are rid off children who are of school going age and ensure they are enrolled in school.

To further reduce the burden, Dr Amponsah urged that children be made aware of the risk surrounding them in order to speak for themselves.

“Education about work hazards and risks, needs to start in school and continue through vocational training and apprenticeship programs. It is essential if children are to be able to exercise their rights and voice out their concerns on anything they are confronted with,” he said.

This year’s WDACL and the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (SafeDay) focused on the global need to harness the safety and health of young workers and also to end child labour. It is dubbed: “Resist Child Labour, Improve the Safety and Health of Young workers towards Achieving SDG Goals 8.

Asst. Director of Human Trafficking Secretariat at the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection, Abena Anobia Asare tasked the general public to be involved in eradicating the menace of child labour.

She indicated that though the employment ministry is responsible for child labour issues, it had partnered with other agencies to ensure the rights of children are upheld.

“You will find us working with the police, DOVSU, CHRAJ and other agencies to ensure that children and families are operating well…everyone is involved when it comes to child protection,” she said.

Madam Asare encourage parents to seek support when the need arises adding that “there are so many relevant agencies that can help so that you will protect this child…if you leave the child out there, that child doesn’t have any shield anymore.”

Meanwhile, Head of Child Labour Unit at MELR, Madam Elizabeth Akanbombire lauded the Ministry for releasing GH¢500,000 from its budget to run the Unit.

According to her the act is the first of its kind in the history of the Ministry and would go a long way to ensure child labour becomes a thing of the past.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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