The Minister for Employment and Labour Relations has implored Cocoa buyers to pay higher prices for cocoa beans to enable the average Ghanaian farmer employ the services of labourers on their cocoa farms. It is his view that the fight against Child Labour in the cocoa sector will remain lip service if farmers continue to receive low prices for their produce, thereby compelling them to resort to the use of their children instead of hiring labourers.
Hon. Baffour Awuah believes the underlying factor that keeps nurturing Child Labour is poverty and therefore entreats buyers of cocoa beans to pay higher prices as a very important step towards the elimination of Child Labour in the Cocoa Sector.
He made this call when he addressed a Two (2) Day Stakeholders workshop to define the collaboration and partnership against Child Labour and forced Child Labour in the Cocoa Sector on Monday, 2nd September, 2019 at Alisa Hotel, Accra.
The workshop also discussed the National Plan of Action (NPA II 2017-2021) on Child Labour, achievements to date, critical gaps and emerging priorities. The event was under the auspices of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO), UNICEF, International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) and the World Cocoa Foundation.
With participants mainly drawn from the Cocoa industry, the Minister entreated cocoa companies to play responsible roles in eradicating child labour from the Cocoa sector to avoid making profits at the expense of children.
Hon. Baffour Awuah also charged all stakeholders to reinvent their commitment to the National Plan of Action II for the attainment of the 90% reduction in child labour in the Cocoa sector by 2021 and absolute eradication in 2025.
He entreated all participants at the workshop and all other stakeholders in the Cocoa industry to ensure that all cocoa growing areas are vigorously impacted by the approaches identified both at the workshop and in the NPA II.
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Cynthia Morrison called on the sponsors of the crusade against child labour to take the sensitization and education on the menace to the door-steps of farmers and traditional authorities across the cocoa growing areas.
She advocated for the engagement of farmers directly if progress is to be made in eliminating child labour.
Hon. Morrison expects farmers to understand and appreciate the reasons why child labour must end.
Mr. Mil Rliepold, (President of the Mara Partners) on his part revealed that a similar workshop would be held in Cote d’lvoire to foster effective collaboration and stronger partnership with various governments to eradicate child labour in the Cocoa sector.