ILO launches project to address child labour

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Accra, Nov. 16, GNA – The International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Tuesday launched the ‘Caring Gold Mining Project’ to eliminate child labour in the artisanal and small-scale mining sector in the country.

     The project, which has 40-month duration, was being funded by the United States Department of Labour and covers Ghana and the Philippines among others.

     Nii Osah Mills, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, launching the project lauded ILO’s efforts in supporting the elimination of Child Labour from all sectors of the economy.

     He said a lot of issues concerning Child Labour were due to the non-enforcement of laws on the menace and the lack of parental guidance in the society.

     He said the Ministry was committed in partnering other institutions and stakeholders in creating the needed awareness on Child Labour.

     The Minister said government was also very committed to collaborating with the ILO in the implementation of the new project in all the targeted communities.

     He said government has put in place measures to deal with the situations of the small-scale mining.

     Mr Robert Jackson, the US Ambassador to Ghana, said mining has a degree of inherent risk to children and even adults who use modern safety equipment on well-managed and professional mining sites.

     He said most of those working in artisanal golf mining in Ghana do not enjoy these protections.

     He said small-scale miners face grave risks including being buried alive by collapsing tunnels, poisoned by the mercury they use to amalgamate the gold.

     He said no parent wants to see his or her child suffer, but these were the stark realities that some families face and that was the reason why policymakers needed to consider when attempting tackling the menace.

     He said there was no single intervention that, when implemented in isolation would change the reality for these families.

     “That is why we are supporting a cross-cutting approach to this problem,” he added.

     Mr Jackson said the project recognises the expertise of stakeholders from different sectors and their critical role in combating Child Labour and improving working conditions in artisanal mining.

     He said “we want to draw from the best practices from other parts of the world and then add the lessons learned from the Ghanaian experience to the body of global knowledge on this topic.”

     Mr Dennis Zulu, Director of ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire commended the US government for their support in eliminating Child Labour.

     He said the project was a significant contribution to Ghana’s effort to achieve the sustainable development goals target.

     He said the Ghana has been at the forefront of eliminating Child Labour in the African region over the years and called on stakeholders to play their role in contributing to the elimination process.

    Madam Lalaina Razafindrakoto, the Project Director, said the project seeks to convene stakeholders to develop and implement strategies to reduce Child Labour and improve working conditions in artisanal and small-scale mining.

    She said the project has four components including laws, policies and action plans, social protection and livelihood programme, mechanism to increase monitoring of Child Labour and global networks.

    She said the project was targeted in six communities in the Western and Ashanti Regions including Dadieso, Achimfo, Sewum, Abedwum and Adumenu.

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