Agric workers want creation of Child Labour Free Zones

The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of Ghana Trade Union Congress on Tuesday called for the creation of an integrated area base approach towards a Child Labour Free Zone (CLFZ) in Ghana.

The CLFZ are geographical areas where all children are systematically withdrawn from work and re-integrated into formal and full-time school.

Mr Kingsley Ofei-Nkansah, General Secretary of GAWU, who made the call at a day’s multi stakeholders’ forum in Accra, said there was no justification for children to be used as child labourers.

He urged parents could engage their children in child work, since it does not back the back of a child but rather shapes the child’s development.

He said the initiative also seeks to eliminate all forms of child labour and ensure formal full time and quality education for all children at least until the age of 15.

“The right to education were important to that of the right to food,” he noted.

Mr Ofei-Nkansah said GAWU has set up initiatives to withdraw, rehabilitate and re-integrate children engaged in child labour with their families and the society.

Mr Andrews Tagoe, Head of Programmes at GAWU, said the component of the CLFZ would include awareness raising, social mobilization, bridge school and support for teachers and improved education system.

Other interventions under the CLFZ initiatives include support for parents, aftercare, policy advocacy and guidance to convince and equip governments and other relevant actors to support the concept of child labour free zones.

He said international legal framework supports the creation of CLFZ citing International Labour Organisation’s Convention 138 and 182, the Children’s Act and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

He said the creation of the free zones would look beyond the direct child labour intervention strategies.

Mr Tagoe explained that the creation of the free zones would also consolidate the gains already made in the fight against child labour.

He announced that the creation would be targeted at their project communities before extended to other stakeholder communities.

The forum brought together civil society organisations, organised labour, government officials and other stakeholders.

Source: GNA

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