Ghana couldn’t wait a second more; she had had enough, and had to join the globe mark World Day against Child Labour 2010 with the Theme: “GHANA, GO FOR THE GOAL: END CHILD LABOUR”. Last years’ was “Give girls a chance, end child labour”, which was vital for that year’s celebration. This year’s theme takes advantage of the World Cup SA 2010 to drum home how it affects children (victims), their families, the society, the Nation’s development and the need to halt the canker.
Children (drawn from around Ghana), on the 4th of June 2010 were in Accra to ‘Jaw-jaw’ on the issue and come up with a communiqué which they will present to Parliament and the nation, for it will take all hands on deck to make Ghana a Child Labour –Free Nation.
The Media Launch of the 2010 World Day against Child Labour and the Current ILO Child Labour Global Report was held on 5th June 2010, at the Ghana International Press Centre, Accra. In attendance were Representative of the President, Hon. Antwi Boasiako Sekyere (Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Welfare), Mr. Dave Agbenu (GJA National Organizer), Ms. Anna Bossman (Dep. Commissioner L&I, CHRAJ), Mr. Ransford Tetteh (GJA President), Madam Yasmin Ali Haque (UNICEF Country Rep.), Hon. Juliana Azumah Mensah (Minister, Women & Children’s Affairs), Miss Stella Ofori (Principal Labour Officer, Child Labour Unit of the Labour Department), Mr. Francesco d’Ovidio (Chief Technical Adviser, ILO/IPEC), Mr. Kabral Amihere (Chairman of the National Media Commission), The Media and the Children and Youth In Broadcasting-Curious Minds (CYIB-CM).
The Chairman of the National Media Commission, Mr. Kabral Amihere charged the Media to take up the issue and develop interest in such matters for it concerns them too. He said they should investigate, and expose by reporting folks who engage children in labour and Mobilize society with their ‘Media Power’ for attitudinal change for the elimination of Child Labour / Worst Forms of Child Labour! Gabriel Nii Obodai Ashong and I brought “Minus 10” an eight munite master-piece to life, Evelyn Fia-kwoffie took over to perform a poem “The Plight of the Street Child” – All written by Mr. Kingsley Obeng Kyere-K.O.K (Cordinator of CYIB-CM).
The Current ILO Child Labour Global Report was launched in Ghana by Hon. Antwi Boasiako-Sekyere, Dep. Minister for Employment and Social Welfare. All around the Globe, measures have been put in place to reduce Child Labour drastically, Sub-Saharan Africa’s situation has not experienced any significant drop. Ghana is demonstrating significant commitment in dealing with Child Labour, being the first country to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. In 1992 the Republican Constitution that is very clear on Protecting Children from work that is detrimental to their development was promulgated, in that same year an ambitious programme dubbed “The Child Cannot Wait” was launched, demonstrating the urgency Ghana attaches to children’s welfare. In 1998 the most comprehensive legal framework on child development: the Children’s Act (Act 560), was passed with explicit provisions to deal with Child Labour. In aid to combat the canker effectively within the shortest possible time, Ghana joined the ILO’s International programme on the Elimination of Child Labour by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the ILO in the year 2000, this was promptly followed with the ratification of the ILO Convention No. 182 on the elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, thus commiting itself to put in place effective and time-bound measures to address the problem. Since then, Ghana has accelerated its efforts and the impact of interventions is improving. Several Gorvenment Institutions, Employers’ and Workers’ Organizations, local and international NGOs, the ILO and UNICEF as well as IOM have contributed significantly to efforts to address the problem. Note: According to latest estimates, 215 million Children are engaged in Labour and 115 million of these children are into Hazardous Work (ILO)– One that exploits and endangers their health and proper development (mentally, physically, socially or morally and that which deprives Children of the Opportunity to attend School, make children leave School Prematurely, or Requiring children to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work). The Worst Forms of Child Labour targeted under the National Plan of Action (NPA)- (An Action Plan Document developed by the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare (MSEW) in collaboration with the Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA), the Ghana Trade Union Congress (GTUC), ILO/IPEC , UNICEF and other Key partners) are Children in; Child Trafficking, Mining and Quarrying, Fisheries, Ritual Servitude, Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Porterage of Heavy Loads, Domestic Servitude, Agriculture, Street Hawking and Begging.