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General News of Friday, 7 September 2007

Source: GNA

Committee on child labour, trafficking inaugurated

Kumasi, Sept 7, GNA- A 21-member steering committee for an International Labour Organisation (ILO) project on combating child labour and trafficking was inaugurated in Kumasi on Thursday. It has Mr. Francis Kwansa, the Kumasi Metropolitan Labour Officer, as chairman, Nana Kwantwi Barima, Field Officer of the National Commission for Civic Education, as vice chairman and Mr. Stephen Ofosu Darfour, Deputy Ashanti Regional Director of the Department of Children, as secretary.

The project is being undertaken by Social Research Associates in Accra, in collaboration with the Defence for Children International (DCI)-Ghana, a Kumasi-based Children's Right Organisation that was funded by ILO.

The committee is to oversee, monitor and advice on the process of awareness creation campaign and its attendant activities. It is also expected to identify communities affected by child labour and child trafficking and educate the people on how to stop the practices.

Dr. Slyvester Sakyiamah, Executive Director of the Social Research Associates, said the Kumasi Metropolis had become the destination for most of the children trafficked from the Upper West, Upper East, Northern regions and other parts the country. He said the children were found to be cart pushers, bar-keepers, head porters, hawkers and domestic servants among other exploitative jobs.

Dr. Sakyiamah said due to the nature of the work they engaged in, the lack of shelter and better conditions of life, some of them become street children, who were easily lured into robbery, drug peddling, child prostitution resulting in socio-economic problems. He urged the committee to adopt effective plans to address these problems.

Dr. George Oppong Ampong, Executive Secretary of the DCI-Ghana, said the committee would identify 10 communities in the Metropolis to find out the causes of the problems and how to address them. He said a workshop would be organized for members of the committee to equip them with skills and knowledge to enable them to work efficiently.

Mr. Kwansa said the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly had established a similar committee in Kumasi to check child labour and trafficking of children.

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