Eight people have been arrested in connection with revelations that child labour is prevalent in cocoa farms in the Western North Region.
The eight include seven persons from the Ashanti Region and one from the Western North Region.
This was made known by the Senior Public Affairs Manager at the Ghana Cocoa Board, Fiifi Boafo, at a press conference in Accra yesterday.
The revelation, Fiifi Boafo said, was unacceptable in the face of COCOBOD’s zero tolerance for child labour policy.
“COCOBOD and the Government have taken a strong stance against child labour of any kind and condemn any act which undermines the efforts aimed at ensuring sustainability in the cocoa industry,” Mr Boafo stated.
To him, in as much as the practice is not widespread in Ghana’s cocoa industry, it is important any form of child labour was nibbed in the bud and that efforts by government to weed out child labour in the sector were yielding results.
“We have already reported the situation as unearthed in the documentary to the police and some arrests have already been effected in the Ashanti and Western North regions. All suspects and persons of interest are currently going through the legal process.
“We shall similarly alerted the police on any other case related to child labour which comes to our attention for the persons involved to be apprehended and prosecuted,” he assured.
Governments over the years, he said, have introduced anti-child labour programmes to discourage child labour on farms and would continue to pursue those interventions to ensure the zero-tolerance child labour policy.
“We want to send a strong caution to persons who may be involved in these acts to desist from undermining the industry which forms the backbone of this country,” he cautioned.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI