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Regional News of Monday, 25 July 2011

Source: GNA

NGO calls for concerted efforts to end child labour

Accra, July 25, GNA – Ms Bridgette Gordon, Director of Projects of Coastal Life Care Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) on Monday called for concerted efforts to end child labour in fishing communities, which she described as “very alarming”.

“Feasibility studies the NGO carried out at Half Assin, Takoradi, Ngyiresia along the Bosomtwi Sam Beach in the Western Region, Kpando Tokor in the Volta Region and Yeji in the Brong Ahafo Region about the problem indicates that child labour should be the concern of government, NGO’s, civil society groups and other stakeholders since the fishing communities play a role in the national economy. “

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra, Ms Gordon said the problem could be tackled head long through the collaboration of stakeholders with government departments and agencies, stressing that “ government cannot deal with the issue at stake alone”.

She said majority of the children are victims of the poverty their parents are suffering from, hence the need to empower them (parents) with income generating ventures.

She said the foundation intends to support the fishermen and fishmongers with nets, outboard motors, fish preservation facilities and soft loans to sustain their livelihood.

Ms Gordon called on the donor community to assist the foundation to implement it intervention packages.

The NGO which was the result of a research conducted along the coast and Volta Lake into the causes of child slavery and how to overcome it seeks to empower fishermen and fishmongers to boost production and improve their standards of living as well as the education of their children.

Ms Gordon said since the results of the feasibility studies showed that financial hardship was the main cause of the problem, it became necessary to do something about it.

She said the foundation would educate the communities about the dangers involved in using under-age children in fishing and the need to give their children sound education, proper medical care and how to maintain and encourage them to become responsible citizens in future.

The organisation also plans to embark on education on malaria, HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and other communicable diseases.

It would also undertake regular health education and free medical screening apart from registering a number of the beneficiaries with the National Health Insurance Scheme.

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