By Maxwell Obiri-Yeboah
The Deputy Minister for Employment and Labor Relations, Mr. Bright Wireko Brobbey, has reiterated government’s commitment to ensure that child labour is eradicated and lives of the citizens improved.
According to him, child labour, which was at an all-time high before he took office, has currently been reduced to 21.8 percent, with the Central, Volta and Northern Regions been the main areas where it is seriously occurring. But the current regime is working assiduously to curb the situation to the lowest level.
The ministry has, therefore, convinced the government to roll out a flagship programme aimed at alienating poverty from the working class.
The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hemang Lower Denkyira Constituency, said the School Feeding programme, Free Text books for basic schools, absorption of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) fees, Parents Teachers’ Association (PTA) Dues, Free Senior High School Education are some examples of government’s efforts being put in place to make education attractive.
Mr. Brobbey was speaking at a forum organised by the Ministry to mark the World Day Against Child Labour, under the theme – “Consolidating efforts: Children must work on dreams, not on fields.”
The programme, which also recognised the 100th birthday of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) revisited the performances of the various institutions and ministries over the years to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are observed, as well as children’s rights and privileges, as enshrined in the 1992 constitution is upheld and protected in the society.
The minster, however, advised all agencies involved in this cause not to relax, as they are making progress but rather see to it that this canker is brought to its knees to ensure that government’s efforts are utilised to improve upon lives in the country.
During the discussion hour at the meeting, some participants chastised the recently aired Cable News Network (CNN) documentary regarding child trafficking and labour in fishing communities along the Volta Lake in March, this year, saying, they should have contacted the appropriate authorities during and after the documentary to seek their views.
However, reporters who work for the American based medium failed to consult the authorities and went ahead to broadcast the report.
The symposium was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, journalists, some members from the Christian Council, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Executives, International Labour Organisation representatives and other non-governmental organisations and institutions in Ghana and abroad.
Mr. Brobbey was optimistic that soon, a larger section of the youth who are highly skillful would contribute immensely to the growth of the economy, based on the knowledge acquired in schools and other talent training and mentoring programmes organised for them in the country.