Cocobod launches Child Labour Education campaign
4/24/2012 4:00:18 PM -
By: Ernest Best Anane, Kumasi
Mr. Moses Asaga, Minister for Employment and Social Welfare, has called on all stakeholders to help fight against the worst form of child labour, especially in the cocoa growing areas in the country.
The Minister said it should be a collective effort to save children from the murderous clutches of social injustice and educational deprivation, and ensure that they are given opportunities for healthy, normal, and happy growth.
Mr. Asaga noted while launching a film on child labour that the future of every community was in the well being of children, and therefore, it was important for the nation to protect them from pre-mature labour, which, he said, was hazardous to their mental, physical, educational and spiritual development needs.
He further stated that children who are not in school are potential child labourers, and those identified must be given the necessary support immediately, as the child cannot wait.
The Minister said his outfit would be counting on all stakeholders for support to provide remediation services to the children.
He said currently, the Ministry was putting together educational logistics support for the children identified through the pre-testing in the form of school uniforms, school bags, and sandals among others, to encourage school attendance and minimise the dropout rate in the cocoa growing communities.
He said the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, in collaboration with its stakeholders and partners, had developed the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System (GCLMS), which would assist in monitoring and co-ordinating activities and the movement of boys and girls to address the issue of child labour.
He said the need to accurately identify child labour, or the risk of child labour becomes a critical factor in addressing the Worst Forms of Child Labour, as there had been previous attempts at establishing a system devoid of human biases for the identification of children in child labour. The Kumasi metropolitan Assembly (KMA) Chief Executive, Mr. Samuel Sarpong, commended Cocoa Board and promised to support the programme to fight against the worst form of child labour, and ensure that the child was not denied the right to education.
According to him, any work that affects children mentally, physically and socially, and does not contribute to the well being and for their benefit in their adult lives, was child labour.
Mr. Kwabena Asante Poku, Deputy Chief Executive of COCOBOD, noted that Ghana can best secure the future of the unborn generation if the people, as a nation, remain steadfast and avoid interfering with the education of the children.
He said the Ghana Cocoa Board had supported several interventions in the sector to promote the enrolment of children living in cocoa growing countries in schools.
He disclosed that COCOBOD, as the regulator of the cocoa industry, had worked tirelessly with its partners and other stakeholders to sensitise cocoa farmers to conduct their operations in a professional manner, and ensure that their children attend school during school hours without any hindrance.