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General News
Volta Region leads in child labour cases 4/23/2007
Accra, April 23, GNA - A survey by the International Labour Organization (ILO) has revealed that the Volta Region has the highest percentage of child labour cases in the country.

The region, which recorded 33.2 per cent of the over 1.2 million children engaged in child labour, was due to the prevalent fishing activities along the Volta Lake, the report found.

Western, Eastern and the Northern regions followed with 27.1, 25.4 and 24.2 per cent. The Brong Ahafo, Upper West, Greater Accra and the Ashanti regions recorded 11.6, 13.1, 13.9 and 14.8 per cent.

Mrs Stella Ofori, Senior Labour Officer, who presented a paper on the current child labour situation in Ghana at a workshop in Accra, said out of the 20 per cent of children engaged in child labour, 88 per cent of them were in unpaid family labour.

She mentioned blind beggars'' guides, hawkers, child domestic servitude, head porters (kayaye), as examples. Those in commercial sex, the Trokosi system, and child trafficking were identified as the worse forms of child labour.

Mrs Ofori explained that child labour, which was any activity that affected the health, education and development needs of children, should not be confused with child work, which children often did to assist their parents so far as it did not deprive them of such needs.

According to her, Section 89 of Act 560 of the Child Act states that children above 13 years are old enough to assist their parents with light work as far as it does not expose them to any harm.

"Under the ILO Recommendation 190, children are not supposed to work at hotels, bars or any place of entertainment, or any industry that will expose them to hazardous activities that are affect their health." Mrs Ofori called for the adoption of appropriate strategies and programmes to tackle the issue holistically and advised parents to be also responsible to the needs of children.

Mr Mawutor Ablo, Deputy Director for Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment said the Ministry had instituted a time bound project to rapidly respond to recent child labour issues.

He said the Child Labour Unit within the Ministry had instituted a pilot project in 20 districts to fully integrate District Assemblies into the development of action programmes to minimize the menace. Mr Ablo, who is also the Focal Person for ILO issues, said the Ministry, with support from the ILO would engage in more capacity building projects at the national level in terms of policy advocacy, especially against the worst forms of child labour.

He reiterated Government''s commitment to ensure that the rights of children were also respected in order to ensure that children were given the necessary support to take up future roles.

The workshop which was attended by children from Curious Minds, a child''s right advocacy club and the Ghana NGO Coalition for the Rights of the Child, was aimed at sensitizing the children on the issues of child labour.

The workshop provided a platform for children to actively participate in mobilizing society against child labour and its worst forms, since children are key mobilization partners against child labour.

The children would also be expected to act as peer educators to enlighten the society on the menace. 23 April 07

Source:
GNA


 
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