ACCRA– Members of the Ghana Parliament’s Select Committee on Employment and Labour, Social Welfare and State Enterprises have been informed about child labour issues on cocoa farms by the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), an organization promoting child protection in cocoa-growing communities.

The purpose of the three-day training was to equip members of the parliamentary committee with adequate knowledge on the subject to be adequately informed to shape debates on relevant policies on the subject.

Some of the focus areas at the sessions included the causes and consequences of child labour, national response in addressing child labour and inculcating child labour issues into the activities of the Committee for holistic approach.

ICI Country Director Mike Arthur said one of the strategic objectives of the ICI was to ensure key stockholders had improved awareness, knowledge, willingness and capacity to take appropriate and effective decisions that strengthened children’s protection and mitigate child labour in cocoa-growing communities.

He said the ability to collaborate with the parliamentarians as key stakeholders was a component of a five-year strategic plan for 2015-2020 with the overarching goal of improving lives of children and reducing child labour in cocoa-growing communities.

Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, the Member of Parliament for Asante-Akyem South and Chairman of the parliamentary committee, said the training was timely as it would afford them the opportunity to tackle child labour issues at the law making house to effectively respond.

He said child labour issues were glaring and pertained in all constituencies, citing situations where children of most of cocoa farmers were not able to attend school.

The Deputy Ranking Member of the committee and MP for Keta, Mr Richard Quashigah, said child labour and trafficking were critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Ghana and described the training as timely.



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