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Ghana News

The Fight Against Child Labour in Ghana: A Collective Stakeholder Approach

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Child labour, forced labour, child trafficking, and modern slavery are practices that continue to persist in various sectors of the Ghanaian economy. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) Ghana has emphasized the need for a collective stakeholder approach to eliminate all forms of indecent work practices involving children, promote decent work environments, and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Deputy Secretary General of the TUC, Mr Joshua Ansah, made this call during a National Advocacy workshop on child labour, forced labour, child trafficking, and modern slavery, organized by the TUC for its members in the five regions of the North. Mr. Ansah noted that child labour and forced labour were prevalent in the agriculture sector, including cocoa and fisheries, and against international practices, impeding the growth and development of children.

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According to research, almost two million children in Ghana are involved in economic activities considered as child labour, putting one in four children to work. Mr. Andrews Tagoe, the General Secretary of the General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU), called on stakeholders to intensify education to help address the worrying trend.

Child labour perpetuates poverty and affects the health, education, and morals of children. To break the cycle of poverty, adults must remain in decent work while children are educated and prepared for the future. Mr. Tagoe urged stakeholders to address the issue from the domestic level, ensuring that the activities children engage in do not affect their health, education, and morals.

Eliminating all forms of indecent work practices, including child and forced labour and modern slavery, requires deliberate efforts by all stakeholders. The TUC’s nationwide project to train trainer of trainers to support the advocacy drive is an excellent initiative. However, more support is needed to achieve the SDGs, particularly goal eight, which emphasizes the promotion of decent work and the elimination of child and forced labour.

The international market frowns at child and forced labour, and Ghana risks having some of its products rejected if efforts are not taken to eliminate all forms of indecent work. It is crucial to understand that any work that affects a child’s health and education is considered child labour, and it is against international safety practices and the fundamental human rights of the children.

For the most part, the fight against child labour requires collective efforts from all stakeholders, including government, employers, trade unions, civil society organizations, and international partners. We must all work together to create a safe and decent work environment that promotes the well-being of children and prepares them for a brighter future.

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