Child labour prevails in Ghana
afrol News, 31 October - According to a new report by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), child labour remains widespread in Ghana. Ghana is also critisized for not doing enough against child prostitution and trafficking.
Ghana ratified ILO Convention No. 182, the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention in 2000, but has not ratified ILO Convention No. 138, the Minimum Age Convention, according to the ICFTU.
Ghanaian law however sets the minimum age for employment at 15, "but this is often disregarded," the report says. "Education is free and compulsory until the age of 14, but children, especially girls, frequently drop out of school due to economic pressures."
Child labour reportedly is widespread in practice, with the ILO estimating 12 per cent of children aged 10 - 14 are economically active. In urban areas this involves working in markets or collecting fares on buses, as well as working as domestic servants.
UNICEF reported that 80 per cent of girls working as domestic servants are between the ages of 10 and 14. Elsewhere, especially in the rural sector, child labour frequently takes place within the family, the report says. The ILO found in 1996 that 75 per cent of child labour in Ghana took place in such family situations.
- Child prostitution also exists, although prohibited by law, according to the IFCTU report. "Young Ghanaian girls are lured into prostitution by promises of work as domestic servants. Ghanaian children are among those trafficked between the West African countries of Benin, Togo, Nigeria, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Congo as domestic labour." These children are mostly being "forced to work as domestic servants and as prostitutes," the critique ends.
Ghana last week was among the 15 ECOWAS countries of Western Africa agreeing to an action plan to take steps in the next two years towards eliminating human trafficking. Ghana is to adopt laws criminalizing trafficking in human beings, develop public awareness campaigns aimed at potential victims of trafficking and build the necessary administrative structures to protect trafficking victims.
Sources: Based on ICFTU and
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