Thursday, July 28, 2011

Child Labour

Farmers in the country have been asked to stop using child labour on their farms since it negatively affect the wellbeing and development of children.

Mr Solomon Koomson, Jukwa District Officer of the Cocoa Swollen Shoot and Virus Disease Control Unit, who made the call, said investors were monitoring activities of cocoa farmers, and the produce of those who would use child labour on their farms would be boycotted.

He was speaking at a sensitization rally for farmers on the “Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in Cocoa Growing Areas” at Wassa Atobiase, a cocoa growing community in the Western Region.

The event was organised under the National Programme for the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in Cocoa Producing Areas, which was government’s response to child labour in Ghana’s cocoa sector.

The Cape Coast District Quality Control Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr. Kwesi Bediako, said the Programme, which was started in 2006, sought to eliminate worst forms of child labour in the cocoa sector by the end of this year and in all sectors by 2015.

He said despite measures by COCOBOD to stop child labour, the menace was on the ascendancy even though parents denied its prevalence.

Mr. Bediako advised the farmers to send their children to school instead of engaging them on the farms.

He expressed worry that some children were trafficked and used for illegal activities such as prostitution and smuggling.

Mr. Bediako warned people who engaged in child labour and child trafficking would be arrested and prosecuted.

The District Chief Farmer, Mr Kwabena Nkrumah, gave the assurance that farmers would support the campaign against child labour.