The Ghana Non Governmental Organisation Coalition on the Right of the Child (GNCRC) has called on the Government to improve social protection systems to safeguard the right, welfare and development of children in Ghana.
That, it said, would also help eradicate abject poverty, domestic servitude and, most importantly fight child labour, modern slavery and its effect on Ghana.
In a statement to mark the international day against child labour and abuse observed in June, every year, the Coalition indicated that children stood at the mercy of poverty, exclusion, neglect and abuse, including various forms of child labour and everything must be done to protect their rights.
The statement, signed by Mr Philip Bosomtwi Amoah, National President (GNCRC), and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Cape Coast, said the emergence of COVID-19 had also obstructed children from accessing quality education.
This has forced them into all forms of social and sexual vices such as child trafficking, paid and unpaid work and slavery, which compromise their physical, mental, social and educational development.
It said issues of child labour and abuse must be the concern of all, including development partners and Civil Society Organisations because the cities and landing beaches were flooded with children actively begging for alms and engaging in fishing activities.
It recalled the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 8.7 that calls on global communities to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers by 2025.
“With Ghana signing onto these global commitments, it is imperative for us as citizens to work towards achieving these commitments by 2030” it said.
Acknowledging the efforts of the Government in past years, it maintained that commitments were stalled during the period between 2016-2020 due to lack of increased investments in a universal social protection system as part of an integrated and comprehensive approach to tackle the challenge.
The Coalition, therefore, appealed to all stakeholders, who champion child rights and protection, to double activities to give strong support to the more than 160 million children still engaged in the different forms of labour and trafficking.