Mr Michael Amoah Awuku, the District Chief Executive for Atwima Nwabiagya, says the assembly is working with relevant stakeholders to eliminate all forms of child labour, especially those in cocoa growing areas in the Municipality.
“Child labour violates the right of every child to grow up free from exploitation, abuse, and violence. It also compromises children’s education and limits their future opportunities thereby deepening the cycle of poverty in the society,” he said at a grand durbar to mark World Day Against Child Labour at Hiawu-Besease.
The event, which was put together by the Municipal Child Protection Committee in collaboration with Winrock International, a Non-Governmental Organization and some local Cocoa Cooperatives, sought to raise awareness about the adverse effects of child labour and its associated challenges to the cocoa industry.
The Child Protection Committee, which is headed by the Municipal Coordinating Director, Mr Eric Anaafi, is mandated to lead efforts geared towards addressing child labour issues in the Municipality.
Various stakeholders including Heads of Departments, officials of Winrock International, Officials of Cocoa Cooperatives, Community Child Protection Committee Members, chiefs, parents, caregivers, teachers, and pupils of Hiawu-Besease attended the durbar.
The global theme for the 2023 edition of the World Day Against Child Labor is “Protecting Children Against Child Labour, Now More Than Ever.”
The day was on the theme, “Intensify Action against Child Labour; Do it Fast, Do it Now.”
The durbar was in line with Winrock International’s Making Advances to Eliminate Child Labour in More Areas with Sustainable Integrated Efforts Project (MATE MASIE) which is being implemented in the Atwima Nwabigya Municipality and four other districts in the Ashanti Region with funding from the United States Department of Labour.
The MCE stressed on the need for parents and guardians to ensure their children took advantage of the free compulsory basic education and free Senior High School policies to enable them to compete with their peers in developed countries.
“That is why the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government is making frantic efforts to ensure that all children of school-going age attend school without any hindrance at least to the senior high level,” he pointed out.
He charged parents not to compromise their children’s future by engaging them in commercial activities at the expense of a better future.
Mr Fidelis Yapel, Project Director of the MATE MASIE Project, said the partnership with the Assembly in the implementation of the project would significantly address child labour, especially in the cocoa sector.
He entreated the Assembly to consider extending the fight against child labour to other communities so that the gains made through the MATE MASIE project were not short-lived.
He paid glowing tribute to the United States Department of Labour for funding the MATE MASIE project in Ghana.
Mrs Afua Boadiwaa Aidoo, the Project Officer of Kokoo Pa, one of the partners of the MATE MASIE Project, called on all stakeholders to put their shoulders on the wheel in finding lasting solutions to child labour in Ghana.
She emphasised how child labour issues were affecting the trading of Ghana’s cocoa beans on the international market as the call of the international community for the eradication of child labour in the cocoa sector across the globe keeps intensifying.
Nana Aboagye Asare II, the Chief of Besease who chaired the event, called for concerted and harmonized efforts from stakeholders to effectively tackle the perennial problem.