The Trade Union Congress (TUC) Ghana, has underscored the need for collective stakeholder approach to eliminate all incidences of indecent work practices involving children, to promote decent work at the labour environment and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It said child labour, forced labour, child trafficking and modern slavery continued to perpetuate various sectors of the economy and noted that it was against international practices and impeded the growth and development of the children.
Mr Joshua Ansah, the Deputy Secretary General of the TUC, said this at a National Advocacy workshop on child labour, forced labour, child trafficking and modern slavery, organised by TUC for its members in the five regions of the North and held in Bolgatanga, Upper East Region.
He said there must be deliberate efforts by all stakeholders to eliminate all forms of indecent work practices including child and forced labour and modern slavery in the work environment.
The nationwide project to train trainer of trainers to support the advocacy drive had funding support from the LO of Norway.
The Deputy Secretary General noted that the SDGs particularly goal eight emphasised the promotion of decent work and the elimination of child and forced labour and added that the menace was prevalent in the agriculture sector including the cocoa and fisheries.
He said the international market frowned at child and forced labour and Ghana was at risk of having some of its products rejected if efforts were not taken to eliminate all forms of indecent work.
“Many people think that any child that helps the parents at home through farming and shepherding is normal, but the definition of child labour indicates that any work that affects the children’s health and education among others is child labour.
“Again, some see the children as cheap labour because they cannot afford to pay the adults who are qualified to be employed and these are the things we want to eliminate, so let us stop employing children to work and employ the right people,” he said.
Mr Andrews Tagoe, the General Secretary of the General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU), noted that research had shown that in Ghana, almost two million children were involved in economic activities that were considered as child labour, putting one in four children at work.
He said the practice was not only against the international safety practices that had implication on the economy but was against the fundament human rights of the children and a worrying trend that required stakeholders’ support to intensify education to help address it.
“Child labour perpetuates poverty and to break the cycle of poverty, adults must remain in decent work while children are educated and prepared for the future. So, we must address the issues from the domestic level and see whether the activities that the children are doing are affecting their education, health and morals or not,” he said.