Dr Yaw Baah, Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), has challenged trade unions to put pressure on the Government to make child labour issues a priority.
He noted that, apart from the negative impact it could have on the wellbeing of children, child labour could affect wages of union members and also “out-compete adult labour in some sectors”.
Dr Baah was speaking at the end of a two-day workshop on child labour in Koforidua on Tuesday.
The event, which was jointly organized by GTUC and International Labour Organization (ILO), was aimed at improving the knowledge of Regional and District Councils of Labour on child labour.
It also sought to train the national and sub-national constituents of the GTUC, including Regional and District Councils of Labour on how to use social dialogue as a mechanism to the eliminate Worst Forms of Child Labour in Ghana.
Thirty participants including Regional Chairpersons, Secretaries and National Women’s Committee Executive of the GTUC attended the workshop.
Dr. Baah appealed to the participants to find ways of compelling Government to make the abolishing of child labour a priority.
He reminded members of GTUC that, they had a lot of powers and said “When you speak, policy makers listen.”
Dr Baah indicated that no matter how “Pastors” could pray in the Church, child labour would not be eliminated until trade unions got involved and made it a priority.
Ms Francisca Borkor Bortey, Eastern Regional Secretary of the GTUC, noted that the rate of poverty was higher in rural areas than the urban areas due to poverty.
She said the fight to eliminate child labour in Ghana had received much support from civil society organizations and child rights non-governmental organizations.
Ms Bortey said trade unions had been actively involved in the fight against child labour in Ghana.**