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Sun, 16 Jun 2024 Feature Article

Join the Fight Against Child Labor: Let Us Protect Ghana's Future!

The Persistence of Child Labor in Ghana: A Symptom of Wicked Political Leadership
Join the Fight Against Child Labor: Let Us Protect Ghana's Future!
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Ghana, a country with a GDP of over $70 billion, continues to struggle with the scourge of child labor. Despite efforts to eradicate this menace, thousands of children remain trapped in exploitative labor situations, depriving them of their childhood, education, and future prospects.

Key Statistics:

  • Over 1.3 million children aged 5-17 are engaged in child labor (Ghana Child Labor Survey, 2017)
  • 71% of child laborers work in hazardous conditions
  • 43% work in agriculture, 26% in services, 21% in industry, 10% in mining and quarrying, and 5% in fishing
  • Alarming numbers of underage children are being registered to vote and bused to polling stations, with some even participating in political decision-making
  • 15% of registered voters in the 2020 election were under the age of 18
  • Reports of children as young as 12 being bused to voting centers

Root Causes:

  • Poverty
  • Lack of education
  • Limited job opportunities for adults
  • Corruption, cronyism, and lack of political will

Consequences:

  • Perpetuation of cycles of poverty, illiteracy, and social inequality
  • Deprivation of childhood, education, and future prospects
  • Physical and emotional harm
  • Increased vulnerability to exploitation and trafficking
  • Indoctrination of children into political manipulation and corruption

Solutions:

  • Improve access to quality education
  • Create job opportunities for adults
  • Strengthen social protection programs
  • Collaborate with local organizations
  • Provide education and skills training
  • Offer mentorship and counseling
  • Connect with healthcare, legal assistance, and social services
  • Advocate for policies protecting children's rights

Call to Action:
Let us work together to build a future where Ghana's children can thrive, free from exploitation and full of promise. We demand accountability from our leaders and urge them to take decisive action against child labor.

Personal Appeal:
As an Assembly Member and advocate for children's protection and women's empowerment, I urge the Ministry of Children and Women Affairs to take immediate action to address child sex trafficking in Accra. We must work together to create a safe and protective environment for our children.

I demand that the Ministry takes immediate action to:

  • Increase support services for victims of child sex trafficking
  • Launch public awareness campaigns to educate communities about the issue
  • Collaborate with local organizations to provide shelter and rehabilitation services
  • Strengthen law enforcement to prosecute perpetrators
  • Develop policies to address the root causes of child sex trafficking

Furthermore, I call on our leaders to prioritize the judicious use of funds to address the future of our children. It is unacceptable that millions of dollars are stuffed into politicians' accounts, only to be used for political campaigns and personal gain, while our children suffer in poverty and exploitation. We need to invest in our children's education, healthcare, and protection, rather than wasting resources on political gimmicks and corruption.

But, who will hear our cry and help us? Are there any funds available to help us fight this canker? As an advocate with integrity at the state level, I am committed to doing the right thing by investing resources in appropriate areas without any political favoritism. All I need is assistance to start helping these young ones. They need help, and they need it now.

I appeal to international organizations, NGOs, and individuals of goodwill to come to our aid. Let us work together to secure funding and resources to combat child labor and sex trafficking in Ghana. Let us ensure that our children have access to quality education, healthcare, and protection from exploitation.

Together, we can make a difference and create a brighter future for Ghana's children. Who will join me in this fight? Who will help us hear the cry of our children and take action? The time for change is now.

By Hon. Simon Yaw Awadzi
Action for Children's Future, Orphans, Widows and Widowers Initiative Network

Assembly man for Aborlove Nolopi Electoral Area

([email protected])

Which team do you think has the higher chance of winning the 2024 elections?

Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024

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