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31.01.2005 Regional News

Workshop participants complain about child labour

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Techiman (B/A) Jan.31 - Gna - Participants at a four-day workshop on Child Labour have observed that many of children engaged in various activities in the Techiman Central Market were below the working age of 16 years.

The nature of the jobs they did could be hazardous to their physical, mental and spiritual welfare as well as having been deprived of basic education.

The workshop, organised by ASTA FM Radio Station and sponsored by the Business Sector Advocacy Centre (BUSAC) brought together 50 participants from the Media, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Market Association, Non-Governmental Organisations, Department of Social Welfare and some opinion leaders.

It was to provide special information on Child Labour in the Techiman Market with the view to preventing children from being engaged in some worst forms of Child Labour and getting them rehabilitated for social integration as spelt out in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention.

The participants noted that, some these activities that could be injurious to the development of the children as their being engaged in loading and offloading trucks with goods such as cement, maize, millet, yams and plantain.

These children, they also observed were most often seen serving as porters, pulling trucks and pushing wheelbarrows loaded with goods and also sealing sacks with needles and twine and doing many other nerve-breaking activities.

Among the major factors that contributed to these children leaving their homes at their tender ages to work for money, the participants observed, included abject poverty, high level of illiteracy and broken homes.

In a closing remark, Mr. John Owusu Asante, the General Manager of ASTA FM appealed to participants to dedicate themselves to the service of society by getting involved in activities that they might be called upon to do in networking with the identified agencies to eliminate or reduce child labour in the Techiman Market.

Mr. Owusu Asante urged all stakeholders to note that their involvement in eliminating or reducing child labour would be their contributions towards reducing future spate of armed robbery and other vices.

He therefore, called on all individuals and Organisations that might be contacted to offer the assistance they could.

Mr. Georges (RPT) Georges Ntumba, of BUSAC who facilitated the workshop advised participants to make a clear-cut distinction between child labour and domestic chores during their public education programmes.

A wide range of topics, including child labour, eliminating child labour, myths and facts about impact of child labour in Techiman, current and future actions and understanding national and international laws on child labour were discussed.

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