Rainforest Alliance, an international NGO, has with support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) presented assorted school supplies to two community basic schools in Ghana in commemoration of the 2023 World Day Against Child Labour.
The event attracted participants from various organizations and stakeholders across the country to Ntowkrom, a community in the Ayensuano District of the Eastern Region of Ghana.
Child labour describes the exploitation of children’s rights, mostly deprived of their childhood, their potential and their dignity.
The nature of the work they do can be physically, mentally and socially damaging to them and often interferes with their schooling. This results in a cycle of poverty which affects the community at large.
The World Day Against Child Labour is commemorated around the world on June 12 each year.
The global theme for this year’s commemoration is ‘Protecting Children Against Labour Now More Than Ever.’
Ghana’s domesticated national theme for the celebration was ‘Intensify Action Against Child Labour; Do it fast, Do it now,’ as a way of emphasizing the urgency of the need for stakeholders to intensify their efforts at addressing the situation.
This year’s celebration was organized by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) with support from a number of development partners including Rainforest Alliance.
The commemoration also served as a platform for the Ministry to launch the Ghana Accelerated Action Plan Against Child Labour (NPA3).
This NPA3 is a document to guide all stakeholders to align their resources, expertise, and interventions with that of the government through the Child Labour Unit of the MELR, in making the joint effort towards the eradication of child labour effective and nationally visible from now till 2027.
Speaking in an interview, Senior Project Manager at Rainforest Alliance, Joyce Poku-Marboah, explained that Rainforest Alliance shares in the vision of a world where nature and humans thrive in harmony and take the interest of farmers and their households seriously, including working towards eliminating child labour and other human rights abuses through its certification program and other donor-funded projects.
“There couldn’t be a better time to adopt a national localized theme like ‘Intensify Action Against Child Labour; Do it Now! Do it Fast’ than now,” she said.
Poku-Marboah emphasised, “It is the moral duty of parents, guardians, the citizenry, the government, CSOs and companies in the relevant supply chains to ensure that every child has the opportunity to enjoy their childhood and build a better future.”
She noted that experiences gained through the implementation of Rainforest Alliances certification as well as projects such as the NORAD-funded Tackling Forced and Child Labour in Ghanaian Cocoa and Gold Mining project, over the last couple of years, show that through stakeholder collaboration, and continuous improvement where farmers are advised to expose and report such abuses, the results are imminent.
“As part of our efforts to curb child labour which prevents children from going to school and school girls from staying in school when it’s ‘that time’ of the month for them, Rainforest Alliance with support from the NORAD-funded project made presentations to two community basic schools.
This was done in two separate commemorations at the district and national levels; the two schools were Coaltar Basic Presby School in the Ayensuano District and the Ankaase Community Basic School in the Atewa East District.
The two basic schools were presented with 2000 exercise books, 400 notebooks, 400 mathematical sets, 2000 pens, 150 white board markers, 500 pieces of rulers, 1000 erasers, 1000 packs of crayons and 500 sanitary pads.
The items were presented by the Member of Parliament, Hon. Teddy Safori Addi and Senior Project Manager at Rainforest Alliance, Joyce Poku-Marboah in the presence of all stakeholders to the Coaltar School.
Alvin Adu Asare, Senior Associate, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, Rainforest Alliance presented to the Ankaase Basic School in the presence of the District Assembly representatives, chiefs, opinion leaders and Edmark Foundation an NGO in the community.
The Country Director of Rainforest Alliance, Kwame Osei Boateng disclosed in an exclusive interview that Rainforest Alliance continues to use several pathways as part of its efforts to tackle child labour and other human rights abuses in the country.
“We will continue to raise awareness and support small-scale farmers through certification and other donor-funded projects,” he assured.
Also present at the day’s event were Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations Hon. Bright Wereko Brobbey who represented the Minister, the Eastern Regional Minister, the District Chief Executives and traditional leaders.
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