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21.06.2005 Regional News

Northern Region celebrates World Day Against Child Labour

GNA

Sagnerigu (NR), June 21, GNA - Mr Nelson Sulemana Nyadia, Livelihoods and Advocacy Manager of Regional Advisory Information and Network Systems (RAINS)/Campaign for Female Education, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to providing humanitarian services to communities has called local communities, district assemblies and development agencies to curb the menace of child labour. He said despite education to eliminate child labour and trafficking, policy makers continue to grapple with the problem because some community leaders and other stakeholders had not committed themselves to fight the menace.

Mr Nyadia was addressing the chief and people of Sagnerigu, a farming community near Tamale, at the Northern Regional launch of the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) at the weekend. The occasion was meant to sensitise the public on the dangers involved in engaging children in hazardous work and how chiefs and other community leaders in the area could assist to eliminate child labour from the region.

RAINS/CAMFED organized the forum with sponsorship from International Labour Organization (ILO)/International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) as a means of fighting child labour issues particularly from the quarries. Mr Nyadia said more than 2,000 children were engaged in child labour in the three northern regions with large numbers in the quarries and surface mining communities of the Upper East Region and called on district assemblies to commit themselves to the fight against it.

Mr Iddrisu Dajia, the Northern Regional Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), said it was important for child rights advocates to use enough forums to educate the public about the rights of children especially to education and the need to avoid engaging children in exploitative labour. He said child molestation issues in the Northern Region was as a result of the negligence of some parents to educate their children and the love for material gain and called for a change in the trend.

Mr Dajia said it was sad that Ghana was the first in the sub-Saharan region to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child but could not fight child rights issues in the country. He appealed to the public to continue to regard children as the greatest resource of the nation and take good care of them to grow into good adults to develop the country.

The Sagnarigu Naa, Dr. Andani Andam in a speech read on his behalf, expressed worry that some people in the Northern Region always use poverty as a basis for not enrolling their children in school and advised the communities to send their children to school. He expressed concern about shepherd boys and stressed the need to withdraw them from the bush and enrol them in schools to ensure that no one was left out of the educational race. Dr Andam said child rights abuse cases were rampant in Sagnerigu and that the launch would change the people's attitude towards child molestation particularly child trafficking, shepherding and the Kayayee (porters) phenomenon.

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