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03.10.2005 General News

COCOBOD to resettle redeemed child labourers from cocoa farms

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Akyawkrom (Ash), Oct. 3, GNA - The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is to help resettle some redeemed child labourers from cocoa farms in the country.

This forms part of efforts by the board to meet the certification requirements of the international community to prevent the boycott of the country's cocoa by the international community. Nana Karikari Addo, Deputy Ashanti Regional Manager of the Quality Control Division of COCOBOD), who disclosed this, said the board was faced with the threat of boycott by the international community for the use of child labour on cocoa farms in the country.

This situation he said, had brought about the need for some certification requirements, which among others, stipulates that cocoa should be produced without child labour, especially hazardous labour. He was speaking at the close of a five-day capacity building programme to sensitise and raise awareness of 236 field staff of the Ghana Cocoa Board and Licensed Buying Companies on elimination of worst forms of child labour on cocoa farms at Akyawkrom, near Ejisu. It ended the first phase of the three-phased programme, which started in June this year and covered 73 cocoa growing districts and sponsored by the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI).

In a speech read on her behalf, Mrs Agnes Kyei-Frimpong, Child Labour Desk Officer of COCOBOD said the board had the strong belief that the training had equipped them with the knowledge and skills they would need to handle the elimination of the Worst Forms of Labour (WFCL) effectively.

"COCOBOD Management has the strong belief that this course has not only whetted your desire to deal with WFCL on cocoa farms but also to become committed child advocates in their homes, communities and districts".

Mrs Sylvia Hinson-Ekong, Executive Director, Rescue Foundation Ghana said, so far, 75 District Managers of COCOBOD and Licensed Buying Companies have been trained.

She charged the participants to go to the communities and seize every opportunity to make a difference in a child's life, pointing out that, the issue of WFCL was not only important because of cocoa but that it was important for the development of every family, every community, every district and the nation at large.

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