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Child Labour and Human Rights in Ghana: A Call for Action

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Child labour is a global phenomenon that affects millions of children worldwide. In Ghana, child labour is prevalent, and it is a violation of the human rights of children. The Ghanaian government has enacted laws and policies to protect children’s rights, but the reality is that many children are still being forced to work under inhumane conditions. This article seeks to explore the issue of child labour in Ghana and the human rights violations associated with it.

Child Labour in Ghana

Child labour is defined as any work done by a child that deprives them of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity. In Ghana, child labour is widespread, with children being engaged in various forms of work, such as domestic work, fishing, agriculture, mining, and street hawking. Many of these children work long hours in hazardous conditions, without access to education or basic amenities.

According to a report by the Ghana Statistical Service, over 1.9 million children between the ages of 5-17 are involved in child labour, with about 1.2 million of them engaged in hazardous work. The issue of child labour in Ghana is a significant concern and requires immediate attention.

Human Rights Violations

Child labour is a violation of children’s human rights, as it deprives them of their right to education, health, and a safe and dignified childhood. Children who are forced to work in hazardous conditions are exposed to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as exploitation and trafficking. These children are also denied their right to rest and leisure, and they often work long hours without adequate breaks.

The Ghanaian government has enacted several laws and policies to protect children’s rights and eliminate child labour. The Children’s Act of 1998, the Human Trafficking Act of 2005, and the Labour Act of 2003 are some of the laws and policies aimed at protecting children’s rights in Ghana. However, despite these efforts, child labour still persists in Ghana.

A Call for Action

The issue of child labour in Ghana requires immediate action. The Ghanaian government, civil society organizations, and the international community must work together to eliminate child labour and protect the human rights of children. The following are some of the actions that can be taken to address the issue of child labour in Ghana:

  1. Strengthen Laws and Policies: The Ghanaian government should strengthen its laws and policies to protect children’s rights and eliminate child labour. These laws should be strictly enforced, and perpetrators of child labour should be prosecuted and punished accordingly.
  2. Increase Access to Education: Children who are out of school are more likely to be engaged in child labour. The government should increase access to education for children, especially those in rural areas, to ensure that they have access to quality education.
  3. Promote Awareness: The government and civil society organizations should promote awareness about the dangers of child labour and the importance of protecting children’s rights. This can be done through public campaigns, workshops, and sensitization programs.
  4. Support Families: Many children are engaged in child labour due to poverty. The government should provide support to families to enable them to provide for their children’s basic needs and prevent them from engaging in child labour.

Child labour is a violation of children’s human rights and a global concern. In Ghana, child labour is prevalent, and it is essential to address the issue to protect children’s rights. The Ghanaian government, civil society organizations, and the international community must work together to eliminate child labour and ensure that children have access to education, healthcare, and a safe and dignified childhood. It is time to take action and put an end to child labour in Ghana.

References:

  1. Ghana Statistical Service. Ghana Child Labour Survey Report,

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