Ghana to review its child labour monitoring system

Accra- Ghana has initiated a process to review its Child Labour Monitoring System, to make it more robust, sustainable, user-friendly, and responsive to current realities and to the needs of the country.

To ensure that, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) in partnership with the Gender Ministry, is holding a two-day stakeholder forum to review Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System (GCLMS).

The System instituted in 2010, is a holistic and dynamic process for monitoring all forms of child labour with particular emphasis on the worst forms, and involves direct observations, repeated regularly to identify victims of child labour, and to determine the various risks of which they were exposed to, refer them to satisfactory and sustainable alternative services and also track them to ensure that they do not return to the previous situation.

Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, who opened the forum in Accra on Tuesday, said the GCLMS was piloted by government in 25 communities in six selected districts under the National Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour in Cocoa, and the final report identified some challenges and gaps, and made recommendations for a review to include the tools and the processes.

However, quality data was crucial in the identification of families affected by child labour as a result of poverty, so as to refer them to appropriate remediation services.

The review, he said, would contribute to the high level of efficiency and functionality and also ensure the full utilisation of the System by all stakeholders, to identify vulnerable children, the ones at risk, and those engaged in all forms of these and other forms of abuses, and refer them to available interventions and services.

He said besides, the review process would help meet the requirement of Action 1.1.7.1 contained in the Phase II of the National Plan of Action for the Elimination of Child Labour (NPA2: 2027- 2021), which called for the revision of the GCLMS, to be linked to the Common Targeting Mechanism and other existing Social Protection Interventions like the Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR).

Mr Awuah appealed to employers of labourers of cocoa farms to pay their workers well especially with the fall in the commodity’s price, to empower theirthem to send their children to school, while working hard to enhance production.

He said some child labour issues had been traced to cultural practices, saying we cannot successfully deal with child labour if we do not deal with the cultural mentality.

He acknowledged that although child protection was difficult, complex and emotionally demanding, stakeholders must remain dedicated to the course, and sustain the momentum in their respective interventions of all issues regarding the collective battle against this pervasive social canker.

Ms Gifty Twum Ampofo, the Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, called for strengthened stakeholder collaboration to address child labour and trafficking.

The child labour component of the current Ghana Living Standard Survey (6), she said had indicated an increase in the menace among children aged between five and 17, to 1.89 compared to the previous figure of 1.27 million in 2003.

She spoke about the negative effects of child labour which include, health and educational impacts on both individuals and the country as a whole, and called on the private sector to partner government in resourcing the requisite institutions with funding and logistics to function effectively.

Dr. Kwabena Nyarko Otoo, the Director, Research and Policy at the Trades Union Congress, said child labour was far from being over despite the efforts made, citing that nationally close to a quarter of all children in school going age were actively participating in the child labour market, working or seeking to work.

He said the problem was worse in rural communities and in the three Norther regions, saying these children would remain unprepared as long as they remained out of school, and surely be the weakest segment of the labour market without being able to take good advantage of decent jobs when they become available.

Solidarity messages came from institutions including the Ghana Employers Association, UNICEF, the International Labour Organisation and the Ghana National Coalition on the Rights of Children.

They called for commitment and efficient leadership from the government in the area of data collection, and the consolidation of the numerous and scattered monitoring systems and social intervention programmes to ensure accurate data on child labour in Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana to review its child labour monitoring system

Accra- Ghana has initiated a process to review its Child Labour Monitoring System, to make it more robust, sustainable, user-friendly, and responsive to current realities and to the needs of the country.

To ensure that, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) in partnership with the Gender Ministry, is holding a two-day stakeholder forum to review Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System (GCLMS).

The System instituted in 2010, is a holistic and dynamic process for monitoring all forms of child labour with particular emphasis on the worst forms, and involves direct observations, repeated regularly to identify victims of child labour, and to determine the various risks of which they were exposed to, refer them to satisfactory and sustainable alternative services and also track them to ensure that they do not return to the previous situation.

Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, who opened the forum in Accra on Tuesday, said the GCLMS was piloted by government in 25 communities in six selected districts under the National Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour in Cocoa, and the final report identified some challenges and gaps, and made recommendations for a review to include the tools and the processes.

However, quality data was crucial in the identification of families affected by child labour as a result of poverty, so as to refer them to appropriate remediation services.

The review, he said, would contribute to the high level of efficiency and functionality and also ensure the full utilisation of the System by all stakeholders, to identify vulnerable children, the ones at risk, and those engaged in all forms of these and other forms of abuses, and refer them to available interventions and services.

He said besides, the review process would help meet the requirement of Action 1.1.7.1 contained in the Phase II of the National Plan of Action for the Elimination of Child Labour (NPA2: 2027- 2021), which called for the revision of the GCLMS, to be linked to the Common Targeting Mechanism and other existing Social Protection Interventions like the Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR).

Mr Awuah appealed to employers of labourers of cocoa farms to pay their workers well especially with the fall in the commodity’s price, to empower theirthem to send their children to school, while working hard to enhance production.

He said some child labour issues had been traced to cultural practices, saying we cannot successfully deal with child labour if we do not deal with the cultural mentality.

He acknowledged that although child protection was difficult, complex and emotionally demanding, stakeholders must remain dedicated to the course, and sustain the momentum in their respective interventions of all issues regarding the collective battle against this pervasive social canker.

Ms Gifty Twum Ampofo, the Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, called for strengthened stakeholder collaboration to address child labour and trafficking.

The child labour component of the current Ghana Living Standard Survey (6), she said had indicated an increase in the menace among children aged between five and 17, to 1.89 compared to the previous figure of 1.27 million in 2003.

She spoke about the negative effects of child labour which include, health and educational impacts on both individuals and the country as a whole, and called on the private sector to partner government in resourcing the requisite institutions with funding and logistics to function effectively.

Dr. Kwabena Nyarko Otoo, the Director, Research and Policy at the Trades Union Congress, said child labour was far from being over despite the efforts made, citing that nationally close to a quarter of all children in school going age were actively participating in the child labour market, working or seeking to work.

He said the problem was worse in rural communities and in the three Norther regions, saying these children would remain unprepared as long as they remained out of school, and surely be the weakest segment of the labour market without being able to take good advantage of decent jobs when they become available.

Solidarity messages came from institutions including the Ghana Employers Association, UNICEF, the International Labour Organisation and the Ghana National Coalition on the Rights of Children.

They called for commitment and efficient leadership from the government in the area of data collection, and the consolidation of the numerous and scattered monitoring systems and social intervention programmes to ensure accurate data on child labour in Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency