US puts in place support to combat child labour

Community Anti-Child Labour and Trafficking advocates in the Central Region, have called for the enactment of bye-laws to prevent the increasing number of child abuse and trafficking issues in the region.

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The region is one of the areas with long stretch of fishing communities and vast landing sites, which accommodates migrants fisher folks from other areas, a situation which has given rise to child labour and trafficking activities.

child labour
child labour
Mr Eric Nketsiah, a community advocate at Moree made the appeal when the United States Ambassador, Mr Robert Jackson met with fisher folks, anti-child labour and trafficking advocates as well as former child labourers in the Region at Elmina.

The meeting was to foster understanding and knowledge of USAID’s work in addressing coastal management challenges and fisheries value chain issues and to combat child labour and trafficking practices.

The Ambassador also visited Central and Western Fishmongers Improvement Association’s (CEWEFIA) school and fish processing facility as part of his tour to the Region.

Ghana has for the second year in a row been ranked as a Tier 2 Watch List country in the 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report released by the US and could be subjected to an automatic downgrade to Tier 3 in 2017.

Ghana’s position means Government is not fully meeting the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking of persons and failed to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in the past year.

It also meant that Ghana might be subjected to restrictions on US development aid should it be downgraded to Tier 3 in 2017.

This, according to the anti-child labour and trafficking advocates are worrying trends, hence the need for special efforts and attention to be put in place to address the underlying problems, which make children in most fishing communities vulnerable to exploitation.

They said Government must go beyond the mere endorsement of the child rights convention and enact laws to ensure that children are protected against abuses and perpetrators severely punished when found culpable.

Mr Jackson, called for harmonised engagement between anti-trafficking civil society organisations, religious bodies, opinion leaders and community members to fight child labour and human trafficking.

He said dealing with the problem is a collective responsibility and every sector must play an active role in addressing it.

Mr Jackson said through complementary action, Ghana could maximise resources and make a stand against the traffickers.

He said it is imperative that members of the public play an active role in the fight against the traffickers considering the vast scale of the human trafficking in the country especially in the coastal areas.

He said the US is committed to partner Ghana to eliminate modern day child slavery.

Mrs Victoria Koomson, Executive Director of CEWEFIA commended the efforts of the US in curbing child labour and trafficking issues in Ghana.

She said CEWEFIA would continue to apply theories of change to help manage exploitation levels to raise the incomes of fisher folks, to reduce poverty and prevent child labour and trafficking in Elmina and its environs.

Source: GNA/News Ghana

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