One out of every five children between five and 17 years in Ghana is engaged in child labour in different sectors of the economy.
This situation has become a serious impact on the personal development, education and health of such children.
To address the problem, the Ministry for Employment and Labour Relations and its partners are taking steps to withdraw all children illegally engaged in any form of employment.
The sector Minister, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, gave the assurance in Kumasi at a National Stakeholders’ Dialogue on the Creation of Child Labour-Free Zones in Ghana.
In Ghana, he said, successive governments had carried out extensive actions to align national legislations with international standards to guarantee adequate protection of children from all forms of child labour.
He said under the child labour free zones concept, there would be a deliberate effort to tackle child labour through an integrated approach, targeting the establishment of demarcated geographical areas where there would be sufficient provisions to ensure that no child was engaged in any form of labour within a given period.
This, he said, was going to be regulated by a competent agency.
“Fortunately, the phase two of the National Plan of Action (NPA) for the elimination of worse forms of child labour focuses on an integrated area-based approach towards creating child labour free zones as indicated in the national policy framework of the country.”
The Minister said the NPA placed a responsibility on the National Steering Committee on child labour to design, draft and present to government protocols and guidelines on child labour free zones with the view of piloting these in selected localities.
Mr. Simon Osei Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, applauded the Ministry for the giant step taken and said it would go a long way to address the menace.
He added that issues of child labour if not adequately dealt could affect the development and growth of children hence it was against this background that the dialogue was timely and refreshing.
He encouraged the participants to bring their rich experiences and expertise to bear on the discussions.