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29.08.2005 General News

Child labour can not eliminate poverty

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Ho, Aug. 29, GNA- Mrs Stella Ofori, a Specialist at the Child Labour Unit of the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment on Monday noted that the involvement of children in all forms of labour could in no way break poverty cycle of families who engage their children in the practice.

She said rather, child labour "creates and sustains" poverty cycle of those families as their children lacked good education and were exposed to many dangers.

Mrs Ofori said this at a District Consultative meeting organised for participants from eight districts in the Volta Region to discuss the elimination of worst forms of child labour in Ghana, at Ho. She said child labour deprived children of their basic rights and exposed them to hazardous, exploitative and harmful work thereby affecting their health and development.

Mrs Ofori said while "child work helps the child to acquire basic knowledge and skills and sense of responsibility beneficial to them and the society in their later life, child labour jeopardize the child's physical, mental and moral well-being".

Commenting on the current situation of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in the country, Mrs Ofori said the practice was dominant in the rural areas in the form of slavery, child trafficking, head porters (kayayes), child domestic servitude and ritual servitude (Trokosi). She also mentioned commercial sexual exploitation of children, children in small-scale mining, children in fishing and children in commercial agriculture as worst forms of child labour.

Mrs Ofori called on District Chief Executives to initiate measures to eliminate child labour and to contact the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for logistics towards achieving such an objective. Mr Emmanuel Kwame Mensah, an Official from the ILO Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC), said the programme sought to among other things enhance the knowledge base on child labour. This he said would assist in making plans, programme for the implementation of policies on child labour.