Participants at a workshop to deliberate the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) manual to guide combating child labour in Artisanal and Small scale Gold Mining (ASGM) have called for strengthened stakeholder collaboration to be more effective.
The key stakeholders include the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana National Association for Small Scale Mining, communities and those in the supply chain.
They participants, therefore, considered how to review the Child Labour and Responsible Mining Network of the various sectors to effectively deal with child labour issues in gold mining.
The SOP manual, being developed, seeks to provide complementary alternatives to help attract minors away from mining.
The Reverend Jones Asante, Chief Director at the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, said with effective collaboration much could be achieved.
“Over the years, partners have worked in solos and networking seem to be totally sacrificial…we need to make networking a part of our core activities, programmes and projects to ensure information flow by all partners”.
Rev. Asante said the development and use of an SOP and protocols for dealing with cases of child abuse and exploitation was a priority and expressed the hope that with all the concerted efforts Ghana could eradicate child labour in all of its forms as spelt out in the Sustainable Development Goals.
Mr Paul Asamoah Kukwaw, the Executive Director for the Network for Community Planning and Development (NECPAD), said the document sought to address specific challenges confronting child labour in Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining.
The SOP aligns with minimum international guidelines and standards for child protection in the ASGM.
“Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining activities in Ghana are known to involve, to an applicable extent, child labour, however, overtime, concerns have been raised about the urgent need to address this…,” Mr Kukwaw said.
Mr Emmanuel Kwame Mensah, Representative of the International Labour Organization (ILO), said the organisation, under the Caring Gold Mining Project, was supporting the development of a concise SOP for combating child labour in ASGM.