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The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations has launched a manual on drafted protocols and guidelines for the creation of child labour free zones in Ghana.

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Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Sector Minister, said the launch of the protocols was to further deepen efforts by stakeholders at reducing worst forms of child labour, especially in farming and mining communities.

It would also accelerate elimination process towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8(7), while fulfilling the pledge of creating child labour free zones, under the phase II of the National Plan of Action(NPA2:2017-2021)document.

The SDG goal 8(7) spells out the need by states to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the probation and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers.

Mr Baffour Awuah who launched the national protocols at Kwabena Akwa, a farming community in the Atwima Mponua District, said in 2014, about 1.9 million children in Ghana were identified to be in labour in cocoa growing communities.

He said the Ministry in collaboration with relevant stakeholders had over the years, developed and implemented institutional level and sector specific programmes and projects aimed at addressing these challenges.

Among the stakeholders were ACE Japan and Deloitte Japan, International Labour Organization (ILO), General Agricultural Workers’ Union, Ghana (GAWU), and Child Research for Action and Development Agency group (CRADA).

Mr. Baffour Awuah indicated that, Ghana was working hard to take away children’s involvement in cocoa farm to help sustain the economy, warning that, if children continued to work on cocoa farms, foreign countries like the United States was likely to stop trading in cocoa from Ghana.

He called for concerted efforts of all relevant stakeholders to aggressively push for ending child labour in the country.

Nana Agyare Boateng II, Tano Odumasihene, who chaired the programme pledged to intensify efforts for constant checks of all forms of child labour in his community.

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