Nobel Laureate urges the clergy to fight child labour

Accra- Mr Kailash Satyarthi, the 2014 Nobel Laureate, and Founder of the Global March Against Child Labour, has urged religious and community leaders and civil society organisations in the country to join the campaign against child labour.

He said many children around the world continued to face various forms of abuses, including child slavery, child trafficking, child marriages, and denial of education, among others, which adversely affected their wellbeing and mental development.

He noted that child labour was pervasive globally because people still believed it was a part of their culture and called for social consciousness to eradicate the canker.

Mr Satyarthi said this when led a delegation to pay a courtesy call on Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, at the Ministry in Accra on Wednesday.

Mr Satyarthi invited the Minister to the launch of the Global Campaign Against Child Labour and the 100 Million Campaign Against Child Labour on March 16 at the Accra International Conference Centre.

The International Labour Organisation defined Child Labour as work that deprives children of their childhood, potential and dignity, which is harmful to their physical and mental development.

The campaign is intended to mobilise stakeholders at all levels including children, the youth, communities, parliamentarians, governments, education actors, labour unions, employers, civil society organisations and development partners on in Africa to stand against child labour.

The launch has come at an opportune time when Ghana is preparing to launch and implement the Second Phase of the National Plan of Action for the Eradication of Worst Forms of Child Labour.

The move would enable the nation to mobilise relevant stakeholders and resources to fight against the phenomenon.

The 100 Million Global Campaign Against Child Labour has already been launched in India, the United Kingdom, Chile, Brazil and Bangladesh.

Mr Baffour-Awuah lauded Mr Satyarthi for leading the crusade against child labour, noting that about 1.9 million children globally were engaged in child labour, out of which 1.2 million were estimated to be involved in the worst forms of child labour.

He said the incidents of child labour in Ghana was prevalent in the fishing, illegal small-scale mining and agricultural sectors, and gave the assurance that the Government would collaborate with him to fight the canker.

Mr Augustine Saakuur-Karbo, the General-Secretary of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union, said the Education International, which TEWU is an affiliate member, was the local coordinator for the 100 million Campaign against Child Labour.

He said TEWU would continue to fight against the various hazardous activities children were exposed to, and urged government not to relent in its efforts to fight against the menace.

Mr Kailash Satyarthi is a human rights activist from India who has been at the forefront of the global movement to end child slavery and exploitation since 1980.

He gave up a lucrative career as an electrical engineer to initiate a crusade against child servitude.

He had liberated more than 83,000 children from exploitation and developed a successful model for their education, rehabilitation and reintegration into the mainstream society.

As a worldwide campaigner, he has been the architect of the single largest civil society network for the most exploited children, the Global March Against Child Labour, which is a worldwide coalition of children’s rights organisations, teachers’ and trades unions.

Source: Ghana News Agency