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Regional News Thu, 15 Jun 2006

Child labour is not about domestic chores - GAWU

Accra, June 15, GNA - Mr Andrew Tagoe of the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) on Thursday noted that child labour was not about engaging children in domestic house chores but using them for work meant for adults.

He explained that child labour was not about children selling to help their parents while attending school or helping their fathers on the farm rather it was about denying a child the right to basic needs while using the child for money.

Mr Tagoe, who is also the Head of the Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (SARD), told the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Thursday that many people did not really understand what child labour was.

"We all helped our parents in one way or the other when we were children but we were not used for the worst forms of labour. We ran errands and sold petty things to support ourselves," he said. He mentioned a situation where children were prone to getting pneumonia and other diseases because they got up early and worked on the farm throughout the day no matter the whether.

He cited an example of children, who worked on rice farms and got up early to scare birds away from the rice farms, doing likewise throughout the day, adding that it was possible to stop the worst forms of child labour if the issue was well understood.

Mr Tagoe mentioned a project by GAWU to help to eliminate the worst forms of labour, especially on farms and noted that child labour was a complex problem worldwide affecting the physical, psychological, moral and educational development of children. "The global concern for child labour has gained expression in a number of international instruments like the International Labour Organization's Conventions," he said. 15 June 06

Source: GNA