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16.02.2006 General News

Ghana risks sanctions for child labour


Ghana risks being sanctioned economically by her development partners if sustainable actions were not taken to completely eliminate the worst forms of child labour.

Deputy Director Social Welfare, John N. O. Ankrah, said a developing country like Ghana concern's had become crucial not only because of the adverse effects of child labour on the fundamental rights of the child but also the threat of economic sanctions and its attendant collapse of national economies.

Speaking at a sensitization workshop in Accra Mr Ankrah said there have been growing concerns among governments all over the world and international organisations for the complete elimination of child labour and its worst forms in societies.

The Social Welfare boss said the International Labour Organisation (ILO) was supporting school of social work to produce child labour sensitive social workers to contribute to the process of assessing the factors associated with the menace to empower individuals, groups, families and communities to mitigate the effects of child labour.

He said the social work department of the University of Ghana had developed an independent course structure “Social work with child labour " which was currently being taught in the first semester of second year immediately after students' practical orientation.

A medial practitioner at the 37 Military hospital Dr Erica Dickson said children were not fully developed mentally, physically, socially and psychologically to be pushed into the high risk occupational hazards.

She said the health impact was about the total well being of the child, and a child in such an occupation might feel the negative impact later in life.

Children, who are into stone quarrying, mining and fishing face the risk of loosing their sense of hearing due to the noise, have problems with their eye sights because some particles might enter their eyes and those into the ice water selling could be knocked down by vehicles.

“Let us not pretend that there is no child labour because it is a serious problem in the country," she said.