The Head of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) at Ejura Sekyedumase in the Ashanti Region, Anthony Blay has bemoaned the rising level of child labour in the Municipality.

Speaking to Morning Show host Henry Lord on Ejura Sekyedumase based Naagyei90.3 FM on Monday, he stated that the unfortunate development is negatively affecting the academic work of the children in the area.

“Child trafficking is very high in Ejura, some of the schools are empty especially on Mondays with children working out there in the markets. If the child mind is fixated too much on money he or she loses concentration when in school. This situation is negatively affecting the academic performances of the students and it’s crucial that the District Assembly steps up its effort to put an end to this practice. Children are all over the place in the markets doing menial jobs but our Labour laws frowns upon that.”
Mr Blay urged the District Assembly to be efficient in the discharge of their work and arrest any child seen working in the market

According to the International Labour Organization, child labour is defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity.

It refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and interferes with their schooling by:

  • Depriving them of the opportunity to attend school
  • Obliging them to leave school prematurely, or
  • Requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.

The concept of child labour is based on the ILO Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), which represents the most comprehensive and authoritative international definition of minimum age for admission to employment or work. Under the Ghana Children Act 1998, minimum age for admission of children into employment is fifteen (15). However, children may be employed at the age of thirteen (13) to do light work. The minimum age for engagement of persons in hazardous work is eighteen (18).

Whilst child labour by both boys and girls takes many different forms, the elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) as defined by Article 3 of the ILO Convention No. 182 is a priority. The convention calls for immediate prohibition of the WFCL, enacting laws, regulations and standards. Secondly, it requires ratifying states to take urgent and effective measures to eliminate these worst forms through programmes of action. It applies to all children under the age of 18, but calls for special attention to girls.

Are employers allowed to engage children in hazardous work?

No. Employers are not allowed to engage children in exploitative labour which deprives children of education, healthcare and development.

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