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23.09.2004 General News

ILO/IPEC reviews capacity building programme

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Accra, Sept. 23, GNA - The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) has paused to reflect on the impact and progress of its capacity building programmes for implementing agencies for the elimination of child labour in the country.

At its Mid-term Review Programme in Accra on Thursday, Mr Mawutor Kwaku Ablo, an Official of ILO/IPEC, said it was necessary to assess the progress of both the Ghana project and that of the sub-region to ascertain its relevance, sustainability and effectiveness to the elimination of child labour.

Participants from Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as some Non-Governmental Organisations are expected to brainstorm and come out with appropriate management strategies to facilitate project implementation.

Mr Ablo said ILO/IPEC had drawn up a seven-action programme out of which four had been approved with three receiving technical impute. "We have been working on the first phase of the project for the past six months and this involves equipping government workers, NGOs and other partners with technical skills and organisational capacity to formulate and implement policies, programmes and other initiatives," he said.

This would facilitate the prevention of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) and protection, withdrawal, rehabilitation and integration of these children within the next three years.

He stated that it was part of the objective of the ILO project to identify knowledge and experience on child labour and share such knowledge at the sub-regional level.

Mr Ablo called for an effective networking, integration, mainstreaming and the establishment of community-based child labour committees, to build commitment and ownership for resource mobilisation and income generation for the reintegration and rehabilitation of children drawn out of child labour.

He said though there was a lot of on-going education on child labour, there was the need to intensify such programmes to eliminate it in the sub-region.

"In cause of the project, it was realised that there was the need to increase education on child labour and the need to improve on the policy and legislation environment while integrating it into the mainstream of the curriculum of formal education." Mr Emmanuel Otto, Country Programme Coordinator, IPEC, said the four approved projects seek to withdraw at least 2,000 children from child labour and reintegrate them into either formal education or into career and skill development.

He stated that IPEC was currently liaising with the School of Social Work to ensure that child labour was incorporated into their curriculum.

"This would equip students with enough knowledge on child labour so that they would be able to contribute towards its elimination. We are further targeting other institutions like the Ghana Institute of Journalism for maximum impact on child labour elimination." Mr Otto said IPEC intended to pursue the objective of child participation where children would share their experiences with others to motivate them.

He called for aggressive advocacy to push for a comprehensive policy to abolish child labour in the country.