Accra, June 5, GNA – The Anti Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service (AHTU) has arrested 339 victims of child trafficking in 2017.
Out of the number, 310 are for labour trafficking and 29 are for sex trafficking.
Superintendent Mike Baah, Head of AHTU, who announced this at this year’s media launch of World Day Against Child Labour, said out of the 339 victims, 190 were children (188 for labour and two for sex).
He said 35 cases were prosecuted with four convictions.
This year’s celebration is on the theme, “Resist Child Labour! Improve The Safety and Health of Young Workers Towards Achieving SDG Goal 8” and it scheduled for Tuesday, June 12.
Ghana’s celebration will take place at Cape Coast, Victoria Park.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) launched the first World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 as a way to highlight the plight of those children.
The day is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour and that reflected in the huge number of ratifications of ILO Convention Number 182 on the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour and the ILO Convention number 138 on the Minimum Age for Employment.
In Ghana, one out of every five children was directly affected and more than one in ten, representing, 14.2 per cent were engaged in worst forms, particularly hazardous work.
Superintendent Baah said if Ghana did not double up in fighting against trafficking and child labour, “we stand a chance of losing greatly as a country without a future”.
He, therefore, urged all stakeholders to collaborate with one another, “since no single institution can combat the menace of child labour in Ghana alone”.
This year, the World Day Against Child Labour and the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (SafeDay) will highlight on the global need to improve the safety and health of young workers and end child labour.
The joint campaign aimed to accelerate action to achieve Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.8 of safe and secure working environments for all workers by 2030 and SDG target 8.7 of ending all forms of child labour by 2025.
It will also highlight the critical importance of improving safety and health for young workers above the minimum legal age for work, not only to promote decent youth employment but also to combat hazardous child labour as part of an integrated approach to eradicate all forms of child labour.
Aside that, the campaign will also ensure that children have access to quality education and attend school at least until they completed compulsory education and reached the minimum legal age for work.
Mr Paul Ntim, a Manager and a Focal Person in Child Labour at COCOBOD, said since the media information on child labour on cocoa producing countries in West Africa in 2001, COCOBOD had since started discussions and support in that direction.
He said they had created enough awareness in the cocoa farming areas in Ghana; built modern schools with libraries; given scholarships to wards of cocoa farmers, and mainstreamed child labour activities to encourage children to be in school.
Mr Ntim said so far, COCOBOD had sponsored most activities on child labour in the country and pledged their commitment to continue to support.
Mr Emmanuel Yirenkyi Antwi, a Representative from the National Association of Small Scale Mining, said their investigations revealed that child labour existed predominantly in the illegal mining (Galamsey) communities and as a result, the Association had targeted education in those areas.
“We have educated about 2000 people in such areas to help put a stop to child labour,” he added.
Some other activities to highlight the celebration in Ghana include National Labour Sustainability Dialogue, media programmes including Television and Radio Talk Shows, among others.