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Regional News Thu, 31 May 2012

Ghana leads way on eliminating child labour – Mensah

Mr. Emmanuel Kwame Mensah, Representative of International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour at the International Labour Organisation (ILO), has said Ghana was among nations leading the way against the elimination of child labour in the world.

He said even though the country had made some strides in the fight against child labour, there were still large number of boys and girls who continue to suffer from child labour.

Mr. Mensah said these at a day’s workshop on Capacity Building for Social Mobilisation Partners against Child Labour (SOMOPAC) in Accra.

The workshop on the theme: “Effective Social Mobilisation Against Child Labour: Collaboration is the Key”, was organised by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and network of social mobilisation partners against child labour with sponsorship from ILO and United States Department for Labour (USDOL).

Mr. Mensah called for the strengthening of coordination among agencies and institutions working for the elimination of worse forms of child labour in the country.

He said unhealthy competition among agencies could lead to duplication of efforts and waste of resources in the achievement of common objectives.

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Mr. Mensah said identification of common goals and objectives as well as communication and information sharing among agencies could go a long way to enhance efforts at eliminating child labour in the society.

He said about 39 per cent of 6,361,111 children in Ghana were engaged in some economic activity and an estimated total of 1,031,220 children in child labour were under 13 years.

Mr. Mensah said in Ghana, about 57 per cent of working children were in agriculture, hunting and industry, 20.7 per cent in sales, 9.5 per cent in production and 11 per cent in other general works such as porters, truck pushers and driver's mates.

Mr. Andrews Tagoe, Anglophone African Coordinator for Global March Against Child Labour and Head of Programme for General Agriculture Workers Union, who spoke on the topic: “Social Mobilization Against Child Labour within the Lens” called for adequate protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of children.

He said there should be clear institutional arrangements in place for child labour interventions, especially to deal effectively with the worse form of child labour.

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Mr. Tagoe said, public and civil society organisations charged with child development and the protection of children from exploitation were inadequately equipped to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

He called for the promotion of all forms of child labour reporting by improving the capacity of journalists and creating appropriate platforms for discussing the issues as well as providing information to the general public.

Mr. Tagoe advocated for a nationwide community sensitisation and mobilisation to promote understanding, effects and causes of child labour.

Mr. Affail Monney, Vice President of GJA, said the media had an important role to influence and disseminate issues of child labour in the country.

He said media must not wait for handouts before advocating for child labour education and sensitisation of the public to eliminate child labour.**

Source: GNA