PHASE II OF THE NPA (2017-2021) LAUNCHED IN SUHUM.
The Phase II of the National Plan of Action (NPA II) for the elimination of Child Labour and its Worst Forms has been launched at Okonam in the Suhum Municipality in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
NPA II is a comprehensive document developed by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and the National Steering Committee on Child Labour with its key Stakeholders to reduce the worst forms of Child Labour. It aims at consolidating the gains made during the implementation of the NPA 1 and also replicate the good practices and lessons learnt over the years, and to effectively and efficiently coordinate the various interventions to eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL).
Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the Hon. Minister under the theme: Developing the child for a brighter future: kick Child Labour away from Ghana, the Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon. Bright Wireko-Brobby stated that government acknowledges Child Labour as a serious problem that is affecting the country, and has therefore taken bold steps to address the menace.
According to the Deputy Minister, some of the measures government have put in place to address the menace include legal frameworks such as the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560), Child Rights Regulation 2002, Human Trafficking Act, 2005 (Act 654) and the Criminal Code (Amendments) Act, 1998 (Act5 554) and its Amendments.
In addition to the legal frameworks, are the various policy interventions such as the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE), the School Feeding Programme and the current introduction of Free Senior High School Programme. The Deputy Minister remarked that with these interventions parents no longer have an excuse not to send their children to school.
Hon. Wireko-Brobby further pointed out that the nations target in the fight against Child Labour is to reduce the menace from its present stage of 21% to 10% by 2021. This, he said, would be achieved if all stakeholders work hard at achieving it.
He urged all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Stakeholders, Social Partners, the Media and the good people of this great nation to play their individual roles to fight against Child Labour and its worst forms.
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Otiko Afisa Djaba, in her remarks called on parents to end all forms of crimes against children. She said children are not responsible to feed their parents, noting “it is a crime for children under 18 years to be bread winners for the family”. The Gender Minister added that Ghana at 61 cannot afford to engage her children in Child Labour.