Kwatiri and Adentia, two farming communities in the Sunyani West Municipality, have been identified as hotspots for child labour in the Bono Region.
The areas are also a hotbed for teenage pregnancies and school dropouts among children under 18 years, necessitating traditional leaders, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and individuals to join hands to tackle the challenges.
The Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional Senior Programme Officer for General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) of TUC, Paschal Ajongba Kaba disclosed these on the sidelines of the inauguration of a 14-member committee setup by GAWU to spearhead a campaign against child labour in the two communities, to mark this year’s World Day Against Child Labour, at Kwatiri.
Although Mr Kaba could not provide statistics to back his claim, he noted that efforts were underway to implement programmes and policies geared towards eliminating the child labour and teenage pregnancy in the three regions.
He stated that child labour was very high in mining and cocoa producing communities, and called on all stakeholders, especially parents, to play their part to address the issue.
The Regional Senior Programme Officer for GAWU of TUC said his outfit had taken upon itself to help minimize child labour by creating a Child Labour Free Zone in the country.
The Chairman of one of the Committees, who is also the Krontihene of Adantia, Nana Kwame Boakye, said the was urgent need to tackle child labour and teenage pregnancy as they continued to affect development.
A teacher at Kwatiri, M/A School, Alex Appau, noted that some primary (class) six and Junior High School (JHS) students dropped out of school and found themselves in ‘child labour and pregnancy,’ due to financial constraints..
World Day Against Child Labour focuses on the negative impact of child labour. Globally, it is estimated 151 million children are involved in child labour with about 71 percent in the agriculture sector.
FROM: DANIEL DZIRASAH, ODUMASE