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21.03.2005 General News

One million children engaged in child labour

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Accra, March 21, GNA - Mr Emmanuel Otoo, Country Programme Coordinator in-charge of Capacity Building Project of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), said at the weekend that over one million children under 14 years were engaged in child Labour in Ghana.

"Most of these children were involved in activities regarded as Worst Form of Child Labour , including fishing, child domestic work and head porterage," he said.

Mr Otoo was speaking at a day's workshop on, "The Development of a Curriculum On Child Labour Issues", for front liners at the School of Social Work.

He said some children were also engaged in dangerous working environments, which exposed them to injuries, toxic substances, sexual abuse, violence and even death.

The Department of Social Work at the University of Ghana, Legon organised the workshop with financial support from the International Labour Organisation and IPEC to assist students to explore the range of skills required for working in communities and direct social work practices.

Dr Stephen Ayidiya of the Department of Social Work, said the training programme would be extended to the security agencies. Mrs Rose Walls, a Social Worker and Lawyer said child labour had the potential of exposing children to crime and other anti-social habits.

Mrs Elizabeth Hagan, Head of Child Labour Unit of Ministry of the Manpower, Youth and Employment, called for multi prone approach for social work.

Mrs Margaret D. Kutsoati, Deputy Director of Department of Social welfare, underscored the need to educate the public especially community opinion leaders on the rights of children.

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