Ghana must maintain position in eliminating child-labour on cocoa farms – E.T. Mensah

E. T. Mensah

Enoch Teye Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, on Tuesday underscored the need for the country to maintain its standard and position in the elimination of the “worst forms of child labour in cocoa farms”.

He said though Ghana had been deleted from the list of countries deemed to be using child labour in cocoa production, the campaign must not cease.

Mr. Mensah who was speaking at the launch of the “expansion of programme to eliminate worst forms of child labour in 21 new cocoa districts in the Volta Region” in Ho therefore charged Municipal and District Chief Executives (MDCAs) to wake up to the call and check child labour in their areas of jurisdiction.

“All MDCEs as the political and administrative heads must own the programme of eliminating the worst forms of child labour as the main implementing partner to forestall all lapses”, he urged.

Mr. Mensah said previously, the programme depended heavily on non-governmental organizations and suffered “serious financial lapses” which must no longer be encouraged.

He asked the Municipal and District Assemblies to invest more in public schools, make them attractive and encourage children who were victims to the worst forms of child labour go to school.

“Children in worst forms of child labour in our farms and in the fishing industry must be made to admire education and be in school”, the Minister stated.”

Mr. Mensah said it was also the responsibility of DCEs to ensure that relevant laws that protected the child were respected in their areas of authority.

He said by doing so, they (MDCEs) would be investing in the human resource base of their communities and the country at large.

Mr. Antwi-Boasiako Sekyere, Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, who chaired the function, said child labour is not good for the child, parents or the State and identified poverty as the main cause of child labour.

Professor Richard Bani, National Programme Manager for the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in Cocoa Production, said reports indicated that DCEs and other opinion leaders sensitized on the programme were doing well and expressed the hope that in the not too distant future, worst forms of child labour in cocoa districts would be eliminated.

District Chief Executives, District Coordinating Directors and officials from the Department of Social Welfare from cocoa districts attended the workshop.

Source: GNA

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