Some selected pupils, representing children in cocoa growing areas at a day’s workshop on child labour, have called on parents to prioritise the welfare of children to enhance their potential.
They observed that the rampant abuse of children’s right especially those in deprived areas was denying such children the opportunity to unearth their talents, stressing that children are national assets that needed to be adequately nurtured.
The pupils, part of participants drawn from 10 selected communities in the Asante-Akim South District for the workshop held at Juaso, advocated the enforcement of laws protecting the interest of children to help arrest the situation.
The workshop, was funded by Child’s Right International, a non-governmental organisation and was attended by 50 participants, constituting child protection committees, and child welfare clubs in various communities and schools respectively. It sought to brainstorm on measures to eliminate worst forms of child labour in cocoa growing areas. It was on the theme: 'Young People — Hope for the Future'.
William Ansah Kwakye, Asante-Akim South District Social Welfare Officer, also the co-ordinator of the workshop, said under no circumstance should children be denied access to education.
He corroborated the children’s assertions and charged parents to desist from exploiting their wards on cocoa farms, saying culprits would be drastically dealt with. Mr Kwakye challenged the participants to sensitise cocoa farmers in their localities to desist from the practice and report recalcitrant farmers to appropriate authorities.
He pointed out that not only parents who exploited their children in cocoa farms were guilty of the offence but those who give out their children to be engaged in any form of activity that amounts to child labour.