Cabinet to approve action plan on eliminating child labour

The National Plan of Action (NPA) for the elimination of the worst forms of Child Labour by 2015, is before Cabinet for approval.

Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, who announced this on Thursday, said the NPA is in conformity with Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, the Human Trafficking Act of 2005, the country’s Medium Term National Development Policy Framework as well as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 182.

Mr Mensah was speaking at the opening of a two-day workshop on the Review and Harmonisation of the Ghana Integrated Child Labour Monitoring System (CLMS) at Dodowa in the Dangbe West District of the Greater Accra Region.

The workshop, which is being sponsored by the United States government, is aimed at providing technical support to the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare (MESW) by reviewing previous and current work in Child Labour Monitoring (CLM) and harmonising their efforts in a manner that would yield optimum synergy in the development, implementation and sustainability of a credible and efficient CLMS in Ghana.

Mr Mensah bemoaned the practice of engaging children in the worst forms of child labour, which he said constituted a flagrant abuse of their rights as well as a serious impediment to the development of the child, families, communities and society as a whole.

He said child labour is also a serious blight on the conscience of the nation, adding that steps should be taken to eliminate all forms of child labour in the country.

Mr Mensah said children are the assets of every nation as such the country owed it a duty to protect and preserve this vulnerable group of the population by enacting legislations and designing pragmatic policies and programmes that would best protect their interests.

He said government was committed to building a solid foundation for quality education for all children towards the provision of a sustainable labour force to achieve the required political and socio-economic development.

He said a decade after Ghana’s ratification of the ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) in 2000, a lot of projects have been initiated to address the problem.

However, he said, most of these laudable initiatives and efforts have not been well coordinated and as such the interventions that should improve the lots of these vulnerable groups have rather put them at a disadvantage.

He called on the participants at the seminar to work collectively and move towards realizing the goal of working within a holistic framework that would ensure transparency, cohesion and thus drive towards the elimination of the WFCL.

Mr Francesco d’Ovidio, an ILO Representative, said in just a decade, the ILO Convention 182 on the WFCL had enjoyed the fastest rate of ratification in the history of the ILO and has also supported a major increase in the ratification of the ILO Convention 138 on the minimum age for entry into employment.

He said the unprecedented ratification of these two fundamental ILO Conventions on child labour reflected the development of an overwhelming consensus that child labour is a major developmental and human rights issue.

He said Ghana is one of the countries in the sub-region, which had taken action to attain the goal of elimination of the WFCL by 2015.

He commended Ghana for formulating a NPA for eliminating child labour, which is high on government agenda and social partners and the provision of guiding principles for ILO-IPEC interventions in the country.

Mr Francesco d’Ovidio further congratulated the country for the sustained and commendable effort, which to tackle child labour.

Source: GNA

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