The Network for Community Planning and Development (NECPAD) is set to fight child labour in 30 fishing communities in 13 districts of Ghana through the “Sustainable Nets” project.
Mr Paul Asamoah Kukwaw, the NECPAD Executive Director, said the project had a funding support from the European Union and would contribute to the elimination of the worst forms of child labour as a result of human trafficking in the fisheries sector.
The beneficiaries are Pru, Sene East, and Atebubu in the Bono East Region; Asougyaman and Kwahu Afram Plains North District in the Eastern Region; Jasikan, Biakoye and Krachi East in the Oti Region; Kpando in the Volta Region; Awutu and Mfanstiman in the Central Region; and Ada and Ningo Prampram in the Greater Accra Region.
Mr Asamoah said this at a sensitisation ceremony at Old Ningo to mark this year’s World Day Against Child Labour, on the theme: “COVID-19: Protect Children From Child Labour, Now More Than Ever.”
He said the COVID-19 pandemic had great impact on economic activities globally of which Ghana was not an exception.
He said in the context of increased household economic vulnerabilities, adolescent girls were exposed to more intense request to support their family income.
“This may put them at high risk of sexual exploitation leading to sexual and other forms of violence, migration, teenage pregnancy, and forced marriage,” Mr Asamoah said.
He called on stakeholders and opinion leaders to increase their commitments and efforts in support of actions to minimise the negative consequences of COVID-19 on the household and children.
Mrs Esther Ofori Agyemang, Senior Labour Officer, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, said ILO statistics indicate that children would be the hardest hit by the pandemic as 42 to 66 million of them could fall into extreme poverty in 2020.
She advised that parents should not expose their children to the dangers of child labour in these challenging times, adding; “let’s work together to protect our children and eradicate child labour from our nation.”
She applauded the effective collaboration between the Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation for the introduction of the Ghana Learning Television for school children.
Mrs Agyemamg called for support to promote the right and education of children as well as effective social mobilisation for attitudinal change for the elimination of child labour and its worst forms.
Naana Dugbakuwor Dugba II, Paramount Queenmother of Ningo Traditional Area, appealed to parents within the locality not to jeopardise the future of their children by engaging them in hash working conditions in order to make money.
She said that deprived the children of their childhood education and the privilege of having a social life, adding; “It is better to educate your child even though its benefits are long term.”
She said parents should not concentrate on the immediate gains but rather focus on the better future that their children would have.