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20.10.2007 General News

Youth Ministry out with ‘child labour’ protocol soon


The Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment (MMYE) is working out a list of hazardous activities, which would become a protocol to be attached to the Children's Act of 1998.

Mrs Akosua Frema Opare, Deputy Minister, who announced this in Accra said a draft had already been developed and community consultation would soon begin to ensure that the general public was educated to help in easy implementation.

Mrs Opare said this at the graduation ceremony of 22 youth from the Ashiedu-Keteke Sub-Metro who had undergone vocational training as part of programmes developed to reduce the incidence of child labour in Ghana. The training was under the auspices of FIT Ghana, an NGO.

She said when the list was ready it would specify work that should be done by a particular group of children taking into consideration their age, adding that according to the International Labour Organisation Convention 182, the worst forms of child labour are not to be tolerated by any country.

Mrs Opare noted that economic activities that did not permit a child to develop his or her fullest potential were regarded as child labour whether paid for or not.

"Laws have been enacted; conventions have been ratified; and these have made activities such as (carrying) of heavy loads unacceptable for children. We need to take a critical look at our laws in comparison with what we see children do on daily basis," she added.

She said statistics indicated that over 200,000 children were engaged in works that could be classified as worst forms of child labour and added that government took a serious view of the situation since human resource development formed a critical part of development.

Mr Robert Nsiah, National Coordinator, FIT Ghana, said at least 25 youth who were involved in the worst forms of child labour were identified, withdrawn, counselled and provided with employable skills, literacy and reintegrated into their communities.

He said the objective was to reduce child labour in urban informal economy through non-formal, low-cost skills training and ensuring access to facilities that would allow decent employment.

Source: GNA