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24.01.2006 Regional News

Children engaged in child labour in Atwima-Mponua

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Nyinahin (Ash), Jan 24, GNA - Some 495 children aged between eight and 18 years were identified in the Atwima-Mponua district of Ashanti as having been engaged in child labour in 17 communities from 2004 to 2005. Mr Mohammed Bukari, the District's Focal Person for the West African Cocoa Agriculture Programme (WACAP), who made this known, indicated that the children were doing menial jobs in various cocoa farms in the communities.

He was addressing an Annual General Meeting of the District Child Labour Committee at Nyinahin at the weekend.

Mr Bukari, who is also the Atwima-Mponua District Social Welfare Officer, said 176 of the kids were rescued by WACAP and that 153 of those rescued had been enrolled in school while the rest were given skills training programmes in various training and vocational institutions in the district.

He said those in school had been provided with school uniforms and learning materials including school bags and exercise books while 17 of those undertaking skill training had received sewing machines. Madam Elizabeth Hagan, a representative from the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment called for continuous campaign against child abuse and neglect so that children could grow into responsible persons to help in nation building.

Mr Martin Meadams Azamah, Consultant of the Programme, recommended that parents should be empowered through micro-credits to be able to support their families.

He also called for the fullest empowerment of organisations and agencies involved in the welfare of children to enable them to provide effective programmes and activities for their proper development. 24 Jan. 06