Many children are doing work unsuitable for anyone under 18, in the worst forms of child labour where children are exposed to health hazards and to physical danger, their development threatened and subjected to exploitation.
A statement signed by the Communications Officer of UNICEF Ghana, Madeleine Logan, and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Wednesday said millions of children worked to support their families, but child labour became unacceptable when it was carried out by children who were too young and who should be in school.
It said on the World Day Against Child Labour, UNICEF Ghana wanted to put a particular focus on children in domestic work in Ghana.
“UNICEF today calls to the attention of millions of children around the world, who are engaged in some form of hazardous or exploitative work, usually at the expense of their health and education, and overall wellbeing and development,” the statement said.
According to the statement, children engaged in domestic work were often amongst the most vulnerable hidden away from the public eye and behind closed doors.
It said child domestic workers were at high risk of violence and abuses, including sexual abuse, trafficking and forced labour.
“Away from their own families, we know that these children often have very few adults around them who are willing to come to their defence and safeguard their interests and protection,” Chief of Child Protection Johanna Eriksson Takyo said.
The statement said UNICEF Ghana’s approach to tackle child labour along with other child protection concerns would be through system-strengthening.
Thus, an approach, which would require three things including good laws and policies that clearly stipulated what would be acceptable actions and what would be criminal actions.
The rest would be a strong social welfare and justice system and processes of social change.
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.