The media launch and policy forum for the celebration of this year’s World Day Against Child Labour took place in Accra last Wednesday, with a call on government to institute measures to ensure that school fees and other related payments are not beyond the reach of the poor in Ghana.
That, according to Ms. Theresa Nadia Abugah, Deputy Head, Gender and Social Protection of Trades Union Congress (TUC) would pave the way for many parents to send their children to school.
She said though Ghana had made significant strives in reducing the incidence of child labour, it was incumbent on the media to also play their part effectively and efficiently to ensure the elimination of the canker.
“While we call on government to ensure the provision of adequate educational facilities and resources, it is equally important to note that the elimination of child labour is a collective responsibility”, she stated.
The theme was, ‘No to Child Labour – Yes to Quality Education’.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, whose address was read on his behalf, also said government was working hard to reduce child labour to the barest minimum, and that could be achieved through the collaborative efforts of the ministry, media and other stakeholders.
“The media is of great importance in fighting this canker and as a government, we feel delighted to collaborate with the media to disseminate information efficiently and effectively on this year’s activity.
“If the problems of child labour are ignored and the laws are not adequately enforced, children who should be in school will remain working instead”, he said and noted that holistic approach comprising the provision of free, compulsory and basic education (FCUBE) was required to make it possible for all boys and girls have a safe and quality learning environment coupled with the promotion of social protection policies to encourage school attendance.
“I therefore, call on all Ghanaians to actively support this worthy cause in order to promote the growth and development in the country,” he added.
Madam Akua Ofori Asumadu, of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Mr. Charles Asante-Bempong of the Ghana Employers’ Association, Mrs. Josephine Kodua of Coalition on the Right of the Child, Mr. Gregory Dery of the World Vision International and Madam Assibi Napole of Education International, all advocated that aggressive measures were taken to provide quality education for all citizens.
The Executive Director, Media Foundation for West Africa, Sulemana Braimah, who chaired the function, said it was about time the media focused on developmental journalism rather than event reporting and encouraged journalists to use features, commentaries, and documentaries to expose the ills in the communities where child labour prevailed.