The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr. Ignatius Baffour Awuah has lashed out at stakeholders for failing to consolidate efforts towards eradicating Child Labour within Cape Coast and its environs in the Central Region.
He bemoaned the fact that the region which is one of the country’s pinnacles in education is recording high numbers of Child Labour indicating that Cape Coast is created for books and not Child Labour.
At the recently held National durbar to mark the 2018 World Day against Child Labour, MyNewsGH.com’s Hajia Asana Gordon reported that the Minister charged the kids to say no to child labour and rather embrace their books to achieve their dreams of becoming prominent persons in society.
Mr. Baffour Awuah observed that the National Plan of Action against Child Labour has drawn attention for the need to mobilize more resources, focus action in local communities and strengthen educational outcomes for children to be enrolled and retained in school.
The celebration which was supported by the Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) and USAID held with the theme “Resist Child Labour! Improve the safety and health of young workers towards achieving SDG8″.
He further stated that about 1.9million Ghanaian children find themselves in dangerous and hazardous environments with little or no protection thereby exposing them to injuries such as burns, lacerations and head trauma as well as internal injuries.
According to the Minister, his Ministry allocated GH¢500,000 of its 2018 annual Budget to the Child Labour Unit to support all the preparatory activities leading to the effective implementation of the Action Plan.
” For sustainable progress to be made in the fight against child labour, it requires not only better data, laws and policies to address the needs of children and young workers but also capacity building for all the tripartite constituents to promote safe and healthy working conditions and mainstream the issues of children in collective bargaining agreement” Mr. Baffour Awuah added.
He said for the children to be aware of associated risks and to advocate on their own behalf, education about work hazards and risks needs to start in school and permeate through vocational training and apprenticeship programmes.
This, he explained would help the children to exercise their rights and voice their concerns anytime they are confronted with the menace.
The Minister therefore grateful to all the key stakeholders especially Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the fight against the plight of Child Labour and appealed to them to continue to work tirelessly to make the country Child Labour free.
The Deputy Director, office of Economic Growth of USAID, Mr. James Lykos said the National Plan of Action for the elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Ghana recognize the need for special efforts and attention in addressing the underlying problems such as poverty, which makes the families unable to take care of their expenses.
This, he added makes children in fishing communities vulnerable to exploitation, adding that USAID have done alot to partner with the government of this nation to combat child labour In true Fisheries sector.