Journalists schooled on child labour issued

Mr. Prince Gyamfi, addressing participants

Mr. Prince Gyamfi, addressing participants

A three-day workshop to sensitise journalists on child labour related issues has opened at Assin Fosu in the Central Region.

The training, which is being organised by the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), a non-governmental organisation brought together more than 20 journalists from the Greater Accra and Central regions.

It is aimed at ensuring that journalists are more informed on child labour issues, particularly those in the cocoa sector and the impact it has on children, in order to tell compelling stories that would drive national discourse.

In his presentation, the Programmes Coordinator of ICI, Mr Prince Gyamfi, urged media practitioners to constantly provide adequate reportage on issues bordering on child labour adding that the menace was fast becoming a norm especially in the cocoa growing areas of the country.

He stressed that there was the need for constant education, mobilisation of resources and capacity building for relevant stakeholders, for the effective implementation of laws that protect children in the country.

“The fact that Ghana has ratified various international conventions and enacted laws on the rights of children does not translate to the enjoyment of these laws in Ghana, there are thousands of children whose rights are being violated and these are our future leaders. We don’t have to continue to just make laws, we must ensure they work,” he added.

Mr Gyamfi further expressed worry about the high number of child labourers in the country, saying it was time for authorities to implement strict policies that will drastically reduce the menace or eliminate it completely.

According to him, it was also very crucial for parents and guardians to amongst others, respect the interest of their wards, provide them protection from abuse, provide them good care and put necessary conditions in place for the child’s overall development.

Child labour, he added, deprived victims of enjoying their childhood, affects their health, prevents them from accessing quality education and also undermines their physical development.

Mr Gyamfi said “these children are our future leaders so we must prioritise their wellbeing. What form of bright future are we looking at if the conditions of these children do not improve.”

Importantly, he recommended that, various community members must be sensitised on child labour laws as often as possible to protect children living in areas with high prevalence rate of the menace adding that access to quality healthcare and education in cocoa growing areas must be improved.

FROM RAISSA SAMBOU, ASSIN FOS

 

 

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