Regional News of 2014-05-13

Ghana to mark Day Against Child Labour

Ghana will join the international community to mark World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) on June 12, on the theme: “Combating Child Labour in Ghana Through Effective Social Protection.

The Day is being marked under the auspices of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and its partners from Organized Labour, Ghana Employer’s Association and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

A statement issued by Nii Armah Ashietey, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Monday, said some activities lined up to mark the event scheduled from June 1 to 20, include media launch, publicity, sensitization activities and media discussions on air waves, National Policy Forum on Social Protection and Child Labour.

Others are distribution of civil messages and films on Social Protection targeted at communities, faith-based organizations, schools, lorry parks and market places.

The WDACL is an occasion first launched by the International Labour Organization in 2002, as part of the global advocacy arrangements to highlight the plight of children caught up in child labour and to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against the trend.

It said the occasion calls for efforts by all countries, organizations and individuals to consider the menace of child labour, especially across the developing world, as an unacceptable anti-social phenomenon, which needs immediate elimination.

It said in Ghana, the major partners in the fight against child labour include Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, Social Partners, CSOs, Development Partners and the Media, as well as various local and international cocoa trading organizations and their allied institutions in the cocoa industry.

The statement noted that this year’s WDACL draws attention to the role of social protection in keeping out of child labour and removing them from it.

In 2013, at the third Global Conference on Child Labour in Brasilia, the international community adopted the Brasilia Declaration, which stresses the need for decent work for adults, free, compulsory and quality education for all children, and social protection for all.

It said echoing those priorities, World Day 2014 calls for action to introduce, improve and extend social protection, in line with the International Labour Organization’s Recommendation on social protection floors.

The rest are national social security systems that are sensitive to children needs and help fight child labour; and social protection that reaches out to especially vulnerable groups of children.

It said the primary responsibility of formulating national social protection strategies and expanding the delivery of national social security systems to cover as much of the population as possible rests with the government, but worker’s and employer’s organizations also have key roles to play.

It pointed out that the social partners could assist the government in integrating child labour concerns into the design, implementation and monitoring of national policies and ensure that they address child labour more effectively and efficiently.

The statement said through collective bargaining, trade unions and employers could ensure that supplementary social security schemes provide adequate and affordable protection for members and their families, supporting family income security as an essential bulwark against the risk of child labour.

It said the transition of the informal economy to a formal one strengthens the foundations of sustainable social security and, at the same time, protects workplaces against child labour.