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30.01.2006 Regional News

Child labour cases increase in Upper Denkyira District

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Cape Coast, Jan 30, GNA - The Upper Denkyira District of the Central Region recorded a total of 90 child-labour cases last year, as against 40 the previous year.

Mr Joseph Benle Arkhurst, Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare, who made this known to the GNA at Cape Coast on Monday, said the affected children were aged between 9 and 15 years, and were mostly engaged in surface mining, popularly known as "galamsey". According to him, the Department in collaboration with the district assembly, was able to send 12 of such children, who had dropped out of school, back to the classroom last year, as against 30 sent back the previous year.

On other cases, Mr Arkhurst said a total of 715 cases, including child maintenance, trafficking, family reconciliation, paternity, child custody and child abandonment were reported at the Department. He said this was against 646 of similar cases handled in 2004, and that a total of 328 orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) were also registered with the Department and were given various assistance, such as the provision of books and school uniforms, medical care and food. He reminded parents of the law binding them to ensure that their children had at least basic education and urged them to be more responsible and provide their children with the needed attention and care.

He also echoed calls on parents to desist from frivolous spending, such as on funeral, cloths, and on other social activities at the expense of their children's welfare and education. Mr Arkhurst, particularly, asked fathers to show more interest in the upbringing of their children both morally and socially, and deplored the fact that some parents failed to cater for the other needs of their children after providing money for their maintenance. " You should not only be interested in the feeding of the children, you must also take care of their education and other social needs", he stressed, adding that, children as well as the nation, would have no future, if children are not properly trained. He also advised the youth not to indulge in illicit sex, since this would result in children they could not take cater for, to help reduce the current spate of streetism and crimes, such as armed robbery. 30 Jan. 06