An official of the International Labor Organization (ILO) said she was impressed by Ghana’s efforts to eliminate child labor.
“Ghana has done a lot in its efforts to eliminate child labor. The ratification of the convention on child labor is a bold step in these efforts, and the work done in the implementation of the convention is commendable,” said Vanessa Phala, country director for ILO in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, in an interview during the ongoing three-day technical meeting of labor experts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“There has been quite a lot done at the institutional level. Ghana is developing the hazardous activity framework as a commitment for further guidance on those hazardous activities prohibited for children and providing clear national guidance on how to deal with this issue,” said Phala.
She said the involvement of all these stakeholders in awareness creation was critical to engage members of the communities. “Engage our traditional leaders so that everybody is in sync and we are all moving together with the work and the gains we have made, making sure that the narrative is coordinated and coherent,” she suggested.
Ghana’s Minister for Employment and Labor Relations Ignatius Baffour Awuah disclosed in a separate interview that the West African country was developing the hazardous activity framework.
“The framework will determine which activity on the field fits the description of child labor and which activities qualify as child work. Child work is permissible everywhere under the law, so that is the distinction,” Awuah said.
“Our major preoccupation is how to sustain our cocoa industry especially, without necessarily compromising on child labor issues,” said the Ghanaian official. “As a country, Ghana has done a lot in making sure that our children, especially those of school-going age, enroll in and stay in school.
Whatever the child does, under no circumstance should that affect child development and children’s access to formal education.”
The technical meeting of experts of the ECOWAS would conclude Friday with recommendations for the ministers of labor on the steps to take to eliminate child labor in the subregion by 2030. Enditem