WORLD DAY AGAINST CHILD LABOUR (WDACL)12thJUNE, 2020 AT LANDING BEACH (OLD-NINGO)The Network for Community planning and Development (NECPAD) in collaboration with members of the Ningo Prampram District Assembly celebrated World day against child labour with the communities along the Old Ningo landing beach. The program was set to educate and highlight the measures to reduce or halt child labour in localities including Ningo and Prampram as a whole. The theme for the program was”COVID-19: protect children from child labour now more than ever”.The Queen Mother of the Old Ningo community, Naana Dugbakwor Dugba II, expressed her profound appreciation to the Organization and the Assembly for this wonderful initiative. She acknowledged, that child labour is a generational social canker and its persistent in this modern era is a source of worry to all stakeholders.
She called on all Parents and guardians to take the education of their wards seriously to curb child labour in this district and the nation as a whole.The District Director of Social Welfare Department, Mrs. Augustina Nartey stated that several children throughout the world are involved in laborious work that deprives them from receiving adequate health care, education, family life, social interactions among others. Majority of the children are involved in the worst forms of labour such as fishing, mining, farming, prostitution and domestic work.Significantly, the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched World Day against Child Labour in the year 2002 after which is annually celebrated to raise awareness about plight of child labourers worldwide. The United Nations set the 12th of June each year as one of the important dates to educate the public on issues affecting children particularly young children who engage in hazardous work and find ways to eradicate it, she added.She expatiated that the World Day against Child Labour is used to increase awareness about the various harmful mental and physical problems faced by children who are forced in labour, in Ghana it is estimated that 1 out of 5 children (21.8%) are involved in child labour. She advised every individual to work together as stakeholders as it is their role to achieve a sustainable development goal 8.7 so that children would live decent life and not work to survive.
The Senior Labour Officer, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Mrs. Esther Ofori Agyemang, in her keynote address said, this year celebration has coincided with an era where COVID-19 has plunged the world into depending crisis arising out of income less and economic insecurity among families and the situation in several advanced economies where there have been huge economic losses given an idea of the extent to which it’s spiral effects is going to impact the less developed countries.She added that, COVID-19 has predisposed children to risk factors of Child Labour and if immediate measures are not taken, it will have negative consequences on children. The collapse and closure of businesses with the attendant job losses will increase the vulnerability of many individuals and households and thereby push them below the poverty line, this will invariably have negative consequences on children who may be compelled to engage in child labour to support their families. According to estimates from the ILO, children will be the hardest hit as 42-66million of them could fall into extreme poverty in 2020, in addition to the estimated 386 million children already in extreme poverty in 2019.
Children at home could further expose themselves to all kinds of abuses, particularly girls, who may be burdened with domestic chores and may be predisposed to sexual abuses, she emphasized.She encouraged schools and private media houses to continue with programmes to educate children amidst the pandemic, as she wished to applaud the Ghana Education Service in collaborating with Ghana Broadcasting Corporation in introducing the Ghana Learning Television (GLTV) for children. She also entreated all partners to support the implementation of the National Plan Action (NPA2) for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, promote the rights and education of children as well as rally behind effective social Mobilization for attitudinal change for the elimination of child labour and worst forms of child labour.She added that the Ministry recently launched the protocols and guidelines for establishing Child Labour Free Zone in Ghana. The aim is to strengthen government and other partner’s effort to uphold the constitutional provision on the fundamental rights of children to be protected from work that constitutes a threat to their health, education and development effort. It, as well encourages all stakeholders, including communities, teachers, parents, children themselves, community groups, religious leaders and local government authorities among others, to consciously commit resources to the child labour eradication process and accelerate efforts to eradicate all forms of child labour from their areas of jurisdiction.
Mr. David Mawufemo Tuglo, Deputy Director of Ningo-Prampram District Assembly on behalf of the District Chief Executive, firstly, applauded the Organization for their education in the community and also said, the Ningo-Prampram District Assembly has a committee which collaborates with the Social Welfare department of the Assembly in taking measures to eradicate not only child labour but also provide communities with school amenities to aid children to also attend school without paying. He added that, the Assembly is working very hard to help lots of children in the District as a whole, as most individuals in most communities are unable to go to school due to financial problems
.Mr. Paul Asamoah Kukwaw, Executive Director for Network for Community Planning and Development (NECPAD), Project Coordinator, Sustainable Nets, reiterated the importance of the world day against child labour, as set aside by the International Labour Organization to raise awareness and activism to prevent child labour and campaigned with the aim of soliciting commitments to the fight against child labour.He added that, the Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS) reports that about nine in every ten children (91%,) who suffer some form of abuse were involved in child labour while 87.4 percent of such children were engaged in hazardous forms of child labour, only 22.5 percent of children who do not suffer any abuse are reported to be engaged in child labour.Mr. Paul Kukwaw, said, the European Union recognises Child Labour in Ghana and is implementing “Combating Child Labour in Ghana” to contribute to Government of Ghana’s efforts in eliminating Child Labour in Ghana. As part of the project, the network for Community planning and Development (NECPAD) along with partners Cooperazione Internationale Sud Sud (CISS) and Italian NGO based in Palermo with office in Ghana and Rural Development and Youth Association (RUDEYA) based in Kumasi Ghana, are implementing the project entitled “Sustainable Nets-Building a Sustainable Protective Network to eliminate Child labour as a result of human trafficking in fisheries in lake Volta”.The objective of this project is contributing to eliminate the worst forms of Child Labour (WFCL) as a result of human trafficking in the fisheries sector in Ghana. Also, it target representative MDAs, RCCs, MMDAs, CSOs in playing active role in the fight against Child Labour and trafficking in fisheries as well as enhancing the roles of social workers, fishers association, law enforcements and all related stakeholders.
A total number of thirty (30) fishing communities (both origin and sending) are earmarked to benefit from the 30 months project. These communities selected from 13 districts includes; Pru, Sene East and Atebubu Districts in Bono East Region; Kpando, Jasikan and Biakope District in Volta Region; Karachi East District in Oti Region; Awutu and Mfantsiman Districts in Central Region; and Ada East and Ningo Prampram Districts in Greater Accra Region.He continued, though COVID-19 has been a major constraints to their project, government of Ghana response to the outbreak, (closure all schools, borders and partial lockdown of selected regions) has already had a toll on the economy and negatively affected the population in general and children in particular. Children are often the first to suffer as this crisis can push millions of vulnerable children into child labour. Therefore, let increase our commitment and brace ourselves in support of actions to minimize the negative consequences of COVID-19 on households and on our children, he advised.ISDNingo-Prampram