Child labour still persists in Ghana - FIDA
Mrs. Jane Quaye, Executive Director of Federation
of Female Lawyers (FIDA), Ghana, on Tuesday warned that the menace of child labour and child trafficking, which undermined human dignity, social and economic development still persists in Ghana.
She noted that, despite the passage of the Human Trafficking Act, Children's Act and Juvenile Justice Act the level of awareness in the society was still low.
Mrs. Quaye said this at a workshop organized for teachers, GPRTU and CEPS officials, as well as human rights institutions in various communities to raise awareness on laws protecting the child and child trafficking.
The workshop is part of FIDA/ILO programme to support legal literacy programme in 12 districts in the country.
Mrs. Quaye said the causes of child labour vary from economic to social difficulties in the country and explained that most families were not able to feed, clothe and educate their children from the very day the child was delivered.
"Recommendations from research studies on child labour and trafficking have placed greater emphasis on extensive public education to be carried with all actors dealing with children due to the high level of ignorance of the laws by various partners in regular contact with children."
Mrs. Quaye said FIDA, which is an organization made up of a group of women lawyers that advocates for men, women and child rights issues with education as their main tool, had formulated the child labour campaign in such a way that it cut across the seven forms of child labour.
The seven forms of child labour are: Child domestic work; small scale artisan; mining and quarrying; fishing; commercial sexual exploitation of children; trafficking and head portage activities.
The FIDA boss called for the enforcement of laws governing child labour
in the Children's Act and urged agencies such as the police, customs and immigration to train and sensitize their roles to ensure promotion and protection of children from rights violations.
"The capacity of parents needs to be enhanced to encourage them to report cases to law enforcement agencies," she said, and further advised parents to allow their children to speak their minds especially on issues concerning them.
"We need to change the attitude and beliefs that children are seen and not heard. Children are not robots; they need to be allowed to be developed properly.”
Mrs. Quaye urged key partners working with children as well as local government and law enforcement authorities to work in partnership to ensure that cases of child labour were reported and appropriate sanctions applied to eliminate the menace.