International Cocoa Initiative calls for broader sensitisation on Child Labour

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child labour
child labour

The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), a non-profit foundation, has called for broader sensitisation of the public on child labour issues to help protect the rights of children at all levels.

The ICI, an organisation that works to protect the rights of children and adults in cocoa-growing areas, said explaining what constitute child labour and ensuring that every Ghanaian understood that concept would help to eliminate the menace.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the commemoration of the 2023 World Day Against Child Labour, on Monday, June 12, 2023, Mr Mike Arthur, Country Director, ICI, said child labour was a complex and technical issue which required continuous sensitisation for people to understand and appreciate what it entails.

“Unless we are able to break down the concepts in simple terms, for the understanding and internalisation by the ordinary person, it is going to be a fight that will not be easily won. It is important that we are open-minded about it, recognising its presence in our societies,” he said.

Mr Arthur said there was a thin line between permissible and non-permissible work for a child and recommended that “every single Ghanaian needs to have a common understanding of the basic concepts.”

The World Day Against Child Labour is observed every June 12 to raise awareness on child labour issues and strengthen local and national actions and programmes towards its elimination.

Ghana on Monday joined the rest of the rest of the world to commemorate the day with a durbar at Ntow Krom at the Ayensuano District in the Eastern Region.

The event, which was on the theme: “Intensify action against child labour: do it fast, do it now” also saw the launch of the new National Plan of Action on Child Labour towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals target 8.7 – end all forms of child labour by 2025.

The new plan would be implemented from 2023 to 2027.

The ICI, who supported the development of the Plan, welcomed it and pledged to support its effective implementation.
Mr Arthur said the new plan would help to build synergies and track actions, policies, and programmes geared towards eliminating all forms of child labour.

It is estimated that about 1.56 million children are in child labour in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and studies have shown that most of the children who work on cocoa farms do so within their household or extended family.

Mr Arthur said eliminating all forms of child labour by 2025 would require all stakeholders in the sector to work together and combine their efforts in accordance with the national plan.

He said beyond the strides made in the formulation of policies and laws, all implementers must hit the ground running to achieve real results.

“…the real work is on the ground and every effort must be made to ensure that the ground work is solid, so that by 2025, when the accounting of SDG Goal 8.7 is done, we will have a clean balance sheet,” Mr Arthur said.

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