CHRAJ Cries For Cash
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has called on the government to allocate a budget to it to enable them achieve the target of Eliminating Worst Forms of Child Labour to the barest by 2015.
The Director of Future Resources Development, CHRAJ, Mrs. Sylvia Hinson-Ekong, said in her presentation at the 6 th Annual Human Rights Lecture that child labour was in all forms, and even parents put their children at risk without knowing its capability.
She indicated that when a child works at home under supervision it was not child labour, but situations where children are left with hazards and all other tasks without supervision is known as child labour. However, this does not warrant that children should not work at home
Mrs. Hinson-Ekong highlighted on the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) definitions as recruitment and engagement of children into slavery, pornographic and prostitution, for illicit activities such as all forms of smuggling, and hazardous labour, adding that Ghana falls within almost all.
She lamented on how child labour issues had become endemic in Senya Bereku, where women take pride in the number of children they have trafficked.
She said: ‘Senya Bereku is one of the communities with slave castles, yet child labour was endemic there.’
Mrs. Hinson-Ekong observed that Article 28/2 protects all children, therefore, all the necessary laws should be enforced, and called on all security agencies to show commitment in eliminating child labour in the country.
She commends all donors and appealed to the government to come to their aid, since they had a target to meet by 2015.
A representative from the Child Labour Unit, Department of Labour, Ms. Elizabeth Akanbombire, on her part, presented the role of the National Plan of Action to 2015 (NPA).
She also lamented on one of the challenges battling the NPA as attitudes of people towards child labour, where many people see it as nothing, and called for the need to create more awareness of child labour, and the harmful effects of it.
Ms. Akanbombire said though development partners and the government, through the National Health Insurance (NHIS), the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) and others, had helped to reduce it, there was the need for the government to do much more to enable them achieve their target by 2015.
She said though in the 2011 budget the NPA was captured in the Fiscal Budget, nothing came. ‘As for the 2013 Fiscal Budget there was no allocation for us at all,’ she noted.
Ms. Akanbombire indicated that the priority of the NPA was to eliminate child trafficking, various forms child labour in the fishing sector, mining and quarrying sectors (galamsey), commercial sex exploitation, domestic servitude, porterage (kayaye), agriculture and many more areas that were not visible.
She added that children were being retrieved from worst forms of child labour frequently, however, they needed the government’s support do more.
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