About 25 Parliamentarians and Clerks from the Parliamentary Select Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises have ended a three day capacity building training workshop on the subject of child labour in Cocoa production in Ghana.
The three day capacity building training which was held at the Capital View Hotel in Koforidua in the Eastern Region was organized by the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) in collaboration with the Parliamentary Service.
According to the organizers, one of the strategic objectives of ICI is to ensure that key stakeholders have improved awareness, knowledge, willingness and the capacity to take appropriate and effective decisions that strengthen child protection and mitigate child labour in cocoa-growing communities.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Today newspaper after the event, the National Coordinator, ICI Ghana, Mike Arthur explained that Members of Parliament (MPs) play very important roles in the promulgation and approval of laws in Ghana, hence it is appropriate to build their capacity in the area of child protection.
“With the mandate that enjoins them to promote child rights as well as protect children from practices which hinder their development, the committee’s role in the fight against child labour is very critical. This is why they must be adequately informed to shape debates on relevant policies on the subject,” he reiterated.
Our ability to collaborate with them is a key component of our five years strategic plan for 2015 to 2020 with the overarching goal of improving the lives of children and reducing child labour in cocoa-growing communities,” Arthur further added.
He said “We have identified other key stakeholders which include, government institutions, civil society, and industry partners who we have planned to work with hand in hand to eliminate child abuse and labour in the Ghanaian society.
At the end of the three days capacity building training, members of the committee were equipped with adequate knowledge on the subject of child labour in cocoa growing areas in Ghana.
Sharing his experience with this reporter, the Chairman of the Committee, and MP for Asante-Akyem South Constituency in the Ashanti region, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, said the training was timely, insightful, interactive and knowledge sharing.
“Some of the focus areas we were taking through are the causes and consequences of child labour, national response in addressing child labour and the inculcating of child labour issues into activities of the committee,” he stated.
Anyimadu-Antwi, said the training would afford them the opportunity to tackle child labour issues at the legislative house to effectively respond.
According to him child labour issues were glaring and pertained in all constituencies, citing situations where children of most cocoa farmers were not able to attend school.
The Deputy Ranking Member of the committee and MP for Keta, Richard Quashigah, said child labour and trafficking are critical to achieving the sustainable development goals in Ghana, he described the training as timely.
Source: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
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