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2024 Iqbal Masih Award: Ghana’s Andrews Tagoe honoured for Child Labour Advocacy

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By: Nana Kwame Bediako

The U.S. Department of Labour recently announced the recipients of the 2024 Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child Labour, and among the honorees is a prominent figure in Ghana’s labour movement, Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe. This prestigious award is presented annually to individuals, companies, organisations, or national governments that have made exceptional efforts to combat the worst forms of child labor. Tagoe’s recognition underscores the global significance of his contributions to the cause.

Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe has been a pivotal force in advancing child and worker’s rights in Ghana. His tireless efforts have primarily focused on the agricultural sector, where child labour has been a persistent issue. Through his leadership and advocacy, Tagoe has spearheaded numerous initiatives aimed at eliminating child labour and improving working conditions for all labourers. His work has not only brought about policy changes but has also raised awareness about the plight of child workers in the country.

In addition to Tagoe’s individual recognition, the Department of Labour also honoured an Egyptian civil society organisation, the Wadi El Nil Association. This organisation has made significant strides in addressing child labour issues within Egypt, working to implement sustainable solutions, and providing educational opportunities for children at risk. The dual recognition of Tagoe and the Wadi El Nil Association highlights the diverse and global nature of the fight against child labour.

The Iqbal Masih Award is named after a young Pakistani boy who was sold into bonded labour at the age of four and later became an outspoken advocate against child labour before his tragic death at the age of 12. The award serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggle to protect vulnerable children from exploitation and to ensure their right to a safe and healthy childhood. The achievements of this year’s recipients reflect the spirit and determination of Iqbal Masih’s legacy.

The acknowledgment of Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe and the Wadi El Nil Association not only celebrates their accomplishments but also inspires others to join the fight against child labor. Their stories serve as a testament to the impact that dedicated individuals and organisations can have in creating a world where children are free from exploitation and able to realise their full potential.

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