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Regional News Thu, 21 Jun 2007

MPs call on communities to tackle child labour

Accra, June 21, GNA - A national programme for the elimination of worst forms of child labour in the cocoa sector has been established within the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment. A system to monitor the incidence and prevalence of child labour in the cocoa sector has been put in place under the programme. Additionally, actions are being taken to support children engaged in worst forms of child labour by placing them back in school or into apprenticeship.

Mrs. Frema Osei-Opare, Deputy Minister of the Ministry said these in a statement in Parliament to mark World Day Against Child Labour, which fell on June 12.

The theme, for the celebration was; "Harvest for the future: agriculture without child labour."

The Deputy Minister said an international protocol required that all cocoa producing countries develop measures to eliminate child labour in the cocoa sector.

"The deadline for putting these measures in place has been set for July 1, 2008. Even before the deadline, Mr Speaker, all cocoa producing countries are being carefully observed to ensure that child labour is eliminated."

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She told the House that the Ghana Child Labour Survey of 2003, showed that the Volta Region was leading in child labour, with 33.2 per cent of child labourers involved in deep-sea fishing without safety and schooling

"Mr Speaker, government's multi-sectoral approach to dealing with poverty, which causes and also results from child labour, needs to be strengthened in order to keep our children from child labour...." She said government had instituted key interventions such as the capitation grant, school feeding programme and the institution of a women's development fund to address the situation.

Mr Joseph Amenowode, NDC-Hohoe South, in his contributions, urged MPs from the Volta Region to collaborate and tackle the issue of children engaging in deep-sea fishing in the region. Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, urged MPs to use part of their common fund in sensitizing the communities on the issue and also in supporting women economically to enable them cater for their children.

Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah, NDC-Ho East, called for laws that would deal with irresponsible fathers who do not cater for their wards. 21 June 07

Source: GNA
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