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22.10.2008 Social News

Thirteen communities in serious child labour business

By gna

Research conducted by the African Centre for Human Development, a non-governmental organization, has identified 13 communities to be areas where child trafficking businesses thrive.

It also revealed that child trafficking was an organized crime involving recruiters, transporters, receivers, distributors and employers.

Speaking at a workshop organized for policy makers on child labour on Wednesday, Mrs Stella Ofori, Senior Officer of the Child Labour Unit of the Labour Department names some of the towns as Kpando, Ada, Elmina, Ningo, Prampram and Mankessim.

"These children are usually sent to Accra, Kumasi, Yeji, Afram Plains and the Islands of the Volta Lake to either fish, become head potters, engage in domestic servitude or shepherds," she added.

Mrs Ofori classified work which deprived a child below 18 of his or her basic rights as abusive, hazardous, exploitative and harmful to the health, safety and the development of the child as child labour.

She mentioned child trafficking, carrying of heavy loads, fishing, agriculture, quarrying, commercial sexual exploitation and domestic and ritual servitude as some of the worst forms of child labour.

Mrs. Ofori gave poverty, parental neglect, sexual and physical abuse as some of the reasons accounting for the high rate of child labour.

"Exposure to toxic substances, sexual abuse, exploitation, illiteracy and high crime rate are some of the negative effect of child labour."

She called for the stringent enforcement of all laws governing child labour in the country in order to curb or reduce its high rate.

Mr. Kwame Mensah, Programmes Officer of the International labour Organization (ILO), Ghana Chapter, called on leaders to mobilize the society to support the fight against child labour through awareness creation, networking and communal participation of issues relating to children.

He noted that although Ghana had made giant strides in response to curbing child labour, much more needed to be done and promised the support of the ILO in the provision of technical assistance to consign child labour to history.