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Ghana, Take Action Now! No to Child Labour in Domestic Work!

As part of efforts marking the World Day Against Child Labour, a media launch of the has been organized under the auspices of the Ministry Of Employment and Labour Relations in partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Ministry of Labour and Labour Relations and Ministry of Education – Ghana Education Service and ILO IPEC to call on all especially the media to scale their efforts in sensitizing and educating the public as well as hold government accountable for results on the matter.

Mr. Stephen McClelland, Chief Technical Advisor, International Labour Organization (ILO), in his remarks at the media launch of the 2013 World Day against child labour in Accra on Friday 7th June 2013, said Ghana has pursued various programmes aimed at reducing Child Labour and its worst forms; however, the decline in the number of cases has been very slow.   He, however, applauded Ghana for her commitment to the fight against child labour over the years by ratifying ILO conventions 183 and 182, and has approved convention 189- which we are yet to ratify.

June 12, will make it the 11th time Ghana is joining the rest of the globe to mark the day to combat the canker- this year “Ghana, Take Action Now! No to Child Labour in Domestic Work” is the chosen theme. It would be marked with various activities across the country to create awareness and attitudinal change among the citizenry as well as policy makers to incorporate child labour issues into their work policies. He said research estimates in total a number of 15.5 million children engaged in paid and unpaid domestic work in homes across the globe and these children are found to be exposed to various dangers, rights violations and deprivation of childhood liberties while growing up under restriction, hazardous and harsh conditions.

The 2001 Ghana Child Labour Survey (GCLS 2001) report of the Ghana Statistical Service published in 2003, estimates that 242,000 children are engaged in hazardous child labour and many of them are exploited in the large, unregulated traditional apprenticeship schemes. Although the report did not collect data on many Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL), there is evidence of large numbers of children working in areas such as domestic work- domestic labour is one of the very hidden forms of child labour- because its behind closed doors- domestic workers face extremely long hours of work, slave-like conditions, use hot and sharp object, inadequate food, inappropriate accommodation, no access to formal education and many more. He also mentioned that the onus of the media was to join in solidarity with the many children trapped in the canker, raise awareness on the issues and also make government account in ensuring the elimination of the worst forms of child labour. “The statistics are worrying…” he said and charged the media to intensify its education to change public attitude.

A speech read on behalf of Hon. Nii Armah Ashietey, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, said the programme would set the tone for the country to decide its readiness to adopt the ILO Convention 189, which offers specific protection to domestic workers. He said the new convention laid down basic rights and principles and requires states to take a series of measures with a view to making decent work a reality for domestic workers.

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection representative Mrs. Catherine Adu-Boadi acknowledge the presence of all partners in the fight against child labour especially the media.  “…Child labour goes beyond being a development issue, presently- it is an issue of morality and health too…” she said. She noted that “…statistics available show child labour cases in Ghana were declining – its deceptive, we still have problems with child domestic workers in Ghana… What could be the issue? Have we relaxed or fail to do more to ensure the general elimination of Child Labour and its worst forms”. She attributed the slow in progress to poor parenting – saying that the family must care for children – and that this onus lies on the parents and society plays a complimentary role. One way of promoting and tackling Child Labour is educating the child- this will beat poverty and provide killed labour force for Ghana. She concluded by noting Ghana’s commitment to ensuring Children enjoy their rights and eliminating child labour and its worst forms by continuing to implement the National Plan of Action and scaling the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System. Also present were representatives from the Ghana Employers Association, and Trade Union Congress.

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Posted by on June 8, 2013 in Issues!

 

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ADVOCACY, SOCIAL MOBILIZATION AND CHILD LABOUR MONITORING SUB-COMMITTEE OF THE NSCCL TRAINED ON GCLMS.

As part of efforts to equip the National Steering Committee on Child Labour to function effectively in the cause to eliminate child labour, members of the Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour Monitoring sub-committee have received training on the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System. The two day event held at the Greenland Hotel in Swedru was officially opened by Mrs. Elionai Adu-Labi (AG, Chief Director, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations), she expressed appreciation for the opportunity to open the workshop aimed at equipping members of the sub-committee on the Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour Monitoring Child Labour to effectively offer technical advice to the district and community child protection committees.

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Mrs. Elionai Adu-Labi (AG, Chief Director, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations)
Interacting with Sub-Committee members.

She formally informed members of the presence of a new minister at the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (then Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare) – in the person of Hon. Nii Armah Ashietey. It was her expectation that the forum would take the opportunity to highlight some of the challenges facing the execution of the pilot projects on the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System (GCLMS) tools and was hopeful that the challenges faced in the course of duty would inform decisions taken to provide effective solutions to address issues raised- “…this will guide the National Steering Committee in reviewing the GCLMS” she said. She acknowledged great strides made through collaborative efforts in withdrawing children from the worst forms of child labour and placing them in schools, equipping them with skills and parents trained and ensuring they are retained. She thanked donors for their consistent support in spite of the global economic and financial turbulence and members for being present to ensure Ghana’s children’s future development and growth.

Sub-Committee members of the Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour Monitoring in a picture with Mrs. Elionai Adu-Labi.

Sub-Committee members of the Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour Monitoring
in a picture with Mrs. Elionai Adu-Labi.

The Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour monitoring members were trained on the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System (GCLMS); processes and methodology, its priorities, components, indicators, highlight of its report on operations so far, limitations, and recommendations- Mr. Atukwei Sam Quaye, (GCLMS Coordinator, National Programme for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Cocoa) delivered the presentation. Mr. Anthony Awotwe of the Employment Information Branch also took participants through “labour inspection and GCLMS”- he shared with all the powers and rights of labour inspectors, obligation of labour inspectors, building partnership, the link between labour inspection and GCLMS .

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2013 in Ghanabakwamena Zone!, Issues!

 

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Law Enforcement Agencies Equipped On Child Labour

A regional workshop to promote collaboration, coordination and networking for national level law enforcement agencies on child labour opened yesterday in Accra.

Round table Discussion

The purpose is to build capacity of law enforcement agencies and equip them on existing laws that protect the rights of children especially from child labour.

In a statement by Mr. Stephen McClelland, Chief Technical Advisor of the ILO-Ghana, he stated that data available indicated that one of every five children in the nation was a child labourer. He mentioned that Child Labour was reducing in some parts of the world but increasing in West Africa. He was hopeful that the training will go a long way to equip the agents and their agencies to contribute more towards reducing incidents of child labour in Ghana.

Mr. Eric Okrah

Mr. Eric Okrah (child protection Specialist), took participants through many of the legal frameworks; Local and International- binding Ghana, the ILO conventions 138 and 182, Criminal Offences Act, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, The African Charter on the rights and Welfare of the Child and others. He advocated the strengthening of enforcement agencies on Children’s rights. He noted that Ghana had many good policies and we needed to bridge the gap between ratifying and implementing, since it was a great challenge to the nation. He also mentioned the need to resource enforcement agencies and make provision for them in budgetary allocations.

Mr. Atukwei Sam Quaye

Mr. Atukwei Sam Quaye, Cordinator of the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System also introduced participants to the system of Monitoring, Identifying, preventing, rescuing and rehabilitating children in some Child Labour prone areas, He took participants briefly through the process of collecting data, processing and analyzing and producing information on their monitoring, he also shared best practices and successes chalked over the years. He noted that the system had challenges and that they were being worked on especially at the data collection level.

Mrs. Elizabeth Akanbombire of the Child Labour Unit of Labour Department, under the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare presented concepts, incidence and child labour interventions in Ghana. She stated that Generic, Economic and Environmental Factors strongly determined and influenced the development of Children. She stated that Children acquire skills and a sense of responsibility that enhances their future as they do light work and entreated all to note the difference, and that Child labour “…is work performed by a person below age 18, which deprives the person his/her basic human rights and is abusive, hazardous, exploitative and harmful to the health, safety and development of the Child”. She shared estimates of Children in Labour, 2,474,545 children engaged in economic activities, 1,273,294 are engaged in child labour and 242,074 are engaged in hazardous work (according Ghana’s last Child Labour Survey in 2003).

Source: @instantmediagh

www.instantmediagh.com

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Ghana Marks World Day Against Child Labour (Day 1&2)

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.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2010 in Issues!

 

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