Minister condemns child labour

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Nii Armah Ashietey, has bemoaned the rate at which some children are subjected to all forms of child labour.

He, therefore, condemned the act, calling on all stakeholders to support the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to address the issue which, he said, was hampering Ghana’s development.

Speaking at a forum in Accra, Mr Ashietey said apart from affecting the progress of the child, child labour also contravened the international conventions on child rights and freedoms.

The forum, dubbed “One Day Information and Experience-Sharing Session,” was organised by the National Steering Committee on Child Labour and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises.

Confronting child labour in Ghana
Mr Ashietey said the launch of a national plan of action (NPA) for the elimination of worst forms of child labour was a big step by the government to address the issue.

Sixty-six lead institutions, which have major roles and responsibilities under the NPA have jointly signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to deal with child labour in the country.   

“The 1992 Constitution, the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560), Human Trafficking Act 2005 (Act 694), Amended Criminal Code 1998 (Act 554), Juvenile Justice Administration Act 2003 (Act 653) and Domestic Violence Act 2007 (Act 732) are to strengthen the legal framework and protect children from exploitation,” Mr Ashietey said. 

He also said the capitation grant for some basic schools and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) were major social interventions to promote the welfare of children.  

Parliamentary Select Committee
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Employment and Social Welfare, Mr Joseph Amenewode, said Parliament was always ready to support the fight against the menace of child labour, considering the negative impact it had on the growth of the country’s economy.

“As Members of Parliament, we are most often the first port of call when such incidents occur. We, therefore, assure the ministry and stakeholders of our commitment to help eliminate the problem,” he said. 

Mr Amenewode said since children within the ages of five and 13 were the victims, there was the need for a collaborative effort from all stakeholders to review their policies and renew their commitment to address the situation.

 He also noted that the ministry must expand its monitoring system to ensure that qualified and skilled institutions were allowed to engage in the fight against child abuse. 

The steering committee members and some Members of Parliament took time to express their sentiments on the problem, and appealed for the adoption of a holistic approach to the fight against the menace.

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