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15.09.2005 General News

Poverty, ignorance, main drivers of Child labour

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Accra, Sept 15, GNA - Poverty and ignorance are the main drivers of children into servitude and labour in Ghana, a research has revealed. The research conducted in some districts in the country identified negative cultural practices, large family sizes, child neglect and death of parents as the other reasons.

Mrs Evelyn Wiredu, a Child advocate who presented the report of the research at a consultative workshop on National Child Labour Advocacy Strategy Development, said even in some places where parents were rich, children were still sent out to labour. More than thirty participants from the child development-related departments, non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, the media and United Nations agencies are attending the two-day workshop.

The workshop, which seeks to explore a common but effective approach in developing a national anti-child labour advocacy strategy for Ghana, is being organised by the Child Labour Unit of Labour Department, Ghana Employers Association and the Trade Union Congress who sponsored the research carried out early this year. According to Mrs Wiredu, the labouring children are subjected to many dehumanising and burdensome tasks.

"These include mining and quarrying, commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and carrying of heavy loads." She said such children appear emotionally distressed and many of them had growth problems and other disorders associated with malnutrition and neglect.

According to her, some of the parents who gave away their wards did not know the "evil" that awaited them. She called for the enforcement of laws on child protection and development and the pursuit of a national sensitisation programme on the dangers of child labour.

Some of participants called for the strengthening of the Social Welfare Department so that social workers would play their expected role in the protection of the Ghanaian child. 15 Sept 05

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