Regional News of 2013-12-24

Madina, Adenta municipalities receive more trafficked children

The Madina and Adenta municipalities in Accra have been identified as major recipients of trafficked children from the three regions in the north who are lured to the city to engage in worst forms of child labour (WFCL).

According to the Chief of Party of the International Development Associates (IDA), Mr Barnett Quaicoo, the children were generally engaged in weeding, planting, harvesting, pruning, cutting and digging, using dangerous and primitive equipment such as the hoe, cutlass, spade, knife and ‘Go to hell’, otherwise known in Ghanaian parlance as ‘langalanga’.

“Most of them work without protective gadgets or equipment, thereby exposing themselves to cuts and snake and insect bites.

“The health of these children is negatively affected with all kinds of infections, tetanus, malaria, and even death,” he stated.

Mr Quaicoo disclosed this when he addressed the Women, Children & Youth Sub-Committees of the Madina and Adenta municipalities at a workshop on the worst form of child labour (WFCL) in the country.

The workshop, organised by the Centre of Development Initiative (CDI), was to educate the sub-committee members on their role to prevent children from exploitation.

He said an estimated 1,239,680 working children in the country were in the agricultural sector and indicated that 308,841 of those children were between five and nine years, while 601,902 of them were aged 10-14 years with the remaining 328,937, aged 15-17 years.

Worst forms of child labour

Mr Quaicoo identified other WFCL to include the engagement or recruitment of children in all forms of slavery practices, forced labour and bonded labour, including child trafficking.

Others are the engagement or recruitment of children in pornography and pornographic performances, as well as prostitution.

He identified children engaged in hazardous labour that affected their health, safety and morals as WFCL.

Educating the participants on their roles in protecting children WFCL, a law lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Law School, Mr Tuinese Edward Amusu, said under Section 16 of the Children’s Act, Act 560, the district assemblies have a role to protect children.

“A District Assembly shall protect the welfare and promote the rights of children within its area of authority and shall ensure that within the district, governmental agencies liaise with each other in matters concerning children,” he quoted the Act as saying.

Social interventions

The Executive Director of CDI, Mr Alexis Danikuu Dery, who welcomed the participants, underlined the importance of some social interventions to protect the vulnerable in society.

He said the National Social Protection (NSP) outlined clear strategies to address the growing gap of inequalities, extremely poor individuals, households and communities, including those in need of special care but lacking access to basic social care.

He said since most of the children involved in the WFCL were from the three regions in the north, the effective implementation of such interventions as the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), the Livelihood Protection, the Promotion of Equal Opportunities and the Social Empowerment, would stop the north-south migration.