The term child labour is often defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.
Speaking at the World Day Against Child Labour, the Director of Engage Now Africa, End Modern Slavery said he would like to use the media space to sensitize the general public on some key issues regarding to global menace: Legal Narratives And Statistics of Child Labour In Ghana, Ghana Action And Intervention In Curbing The Issue Of Child Labour,
Ghana’s Development And Successes In Global Lenses and ENA Programmes And Intervention.
Mr Afasi Komla highlighted us with legal narratives and statistics of child labor in Ghana, Legal Narratives And Statistics Of Child Labour In Ghana.
According to him, the 1998 Children’s Act 87; No person shall engage a child in an exploitative labour. Clause (2) describes exploitative labour to be any work that deprives the child of its health, education and development.
He pointed out that the Section 88. Prohibition of child labour at night.
No person shall engage a child in night work. Night work constitutes work between the hours of eight o’clock in the evening and six o’clock in the morning.
The Minimum age for child labour, minimum age for admission of a child to employment shall be fifteen years.
Section 90. Minimum age for light work.
The minimum age for the engagement of a child in light work shall be thirteen years. Light work constitutes work which is not likely to be harmful to the health or development of the child and does not affect the child’s attendance at school or the capacity of the child to benefit from school work.
The Section 91. Minimum age for hazardous employment. The minimum age for the engagement of a person in hazardous work is eighteen years.
Mr. Afasi was optimistic that work is hazardous when it poses a danger to the health, safety or morals of a person.
Hazardous work includes: going to sea; mining and quarrying; porterage of heavy loads; manufacturing industries where chemicals are produced or used; work in places where machines are used; and work in places such as bars, hotels and places of entertainment where a person may be exposed to immoral behaviour.
According to National Plan of Action (NPA II) Child labour is a global canker.
Over 168 million children are trapped in the menace across the world. In Ghana, 21.8% of the children are estimated to be child labourers, and more than six in ten of them are engaged in hazardous work.
The impact of child labour on the economic and social development of affected countries is clear.
In particular, it affects the transition paths of youth and their eventual employment outcomes, minimizing their opportunities for decent work in adulthood while approximating them to poverty.
Child labour is an affront to the fundamental human rights of children and a threat to their wellbeing.
GHANA ACTION AND INTERVENTION IN CURBING THE ISSUE OF CHILD LABOUR
Ghana through the (NPA II) adopted the following preventive strategies against worst forms of child labour education, social protection, child development, rural economy ( including agriculture and Artisanal small scale mining) and youth employment.
Social mobilization for direct community action Proactive and preventive strategies including quality education, gender equality and poverty reduction
Direct services to affected families and children
Law enforcement at all levels Protection of children and their rights;
Withdrawal of children below the age of 15 from child labour and the protection of working children aged 15 and above from exploitation and hazardous work;
Operationalization of the Hazardous Activity Framework (HAF) and implementation of standard procedures and protocols for dealing with cases of child abuse and exploitation; and Development of institutional capacities at all levels of government and within civil society to ensure the effective application of established procedures and protocols;
GHANA’S DEVELOPMENT AND SUCCESSES IN GLOBAL LENSES
Ghana’s effort to address child labour is internationally recognized.
The country was the first to ratify the United Nation’s Convention on the Right of the Child (UNCRC), and has ratified other key international instruments including the Africa Charter on the Rights and Welfare of Children (ACRWC), ILO Conventions on Minimum Age,1973 (Convention No. 138,) and Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999 (Convention No.182,), the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the Palermo Protocol and relevant ECOWAS Protocols and Child Policy and Strategic Plan of Action.
The 1992 Constitution guarantees the right of children to be protected from any work that threatens their development.
He mentioned that the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560), the Human Trafficking Act, 2005 (Act 694), the Domestic Violence Act, 2007 (732), The Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29) and the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 1998 (Act554) and other national legal instruments have provisions which address various forms of child labour.
In addition to this impressive legal framework, various policies have been put in place to enhance the development of children.
These include the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) policy, the early childhood development policy and the national social protection strategy.
Together, they provide some of the key elements for building a robust legal and policy architecture for child protection.
But these elements are not adequately coherent.
In 2010 Cabinet approved the first National Plan of Action (NPA1) for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (2009-2015).
The goal was to reduce the worst forms of child labour to the barest minimum, while laying strong social, policy and institutional foundations for the elimination and prevention of all other forms of child labour in the longer term.
Engage Now Africa is an international non-profit organization preventing and combating human trafficking, child labor and ending poverty in Ethiopia, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Ghana.
In Ghana, we are operating in three regions; Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta region.
Providing programs with sustainable self-help solutions, developing crucial, in-country leadership enabling long-term sustainability, asset-based community development and strategic use of resources for broader impact.
Engage Now Africa is a collective organization working to address the issue of child labor.
The entity aim to connect and fight against all the worst forms of child labor.
Source: Joseph Nana Yaw Cobbina| Contributor