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A three-member delegation from UNICEF paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, at the Minister’s Conference Room in Accra to discuss issues related to the eradication of Child Labour in Ghana.

The UNICEF delegation was led by, Ms. Anne-Claire Dufay, the UNICEF Representative in Ghana, along with Mr. Muhammed Rafiq Khan, Chief-Child Protection, and Ms. Antoine Delige.

The purpose for the meeting was to collaborate with the Ministry to help end the issues of Child Labour by 2022 and to discuss the upcoming European Union Dialogue which is targeted at their shared interest in eradicating Child Labour.

Speaking, the Hon. Minister expressed his heartfelt desire to push for the end of Child Labour in Ghana.  According to him, children are innocent creatures whose future is yet unknown, and to abuse their rights is very wrong.  Child Labour ruins a child’s life, hence, fuels his heart desire to push for its eradication worldwide. 

The Hon. Minister further advocated for a transformation while calling on partners to look at the root causes of Child Labour. He added that a Public Private Partnership (PPP) was necessary to synchronise messages with the World Bank, Chocolate Factories, World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) among others to help end Child Labour by 2022.

In response, Ms. Anne-Claire Dufay urged the Minister to organize a roundtable discussion, mobilizing partners in further deliberations on Child Labour as UNICEF is willing to support such an initiative.

Mr. Muhammed Rafiq Khan, revealed that the European Union (EU) has agreed to extend the Consultant’s contract until the end of 2021 thereby helping to plan and develop the National Plan of Action Three (NPA 3) as NPA 2 is fading out. He commented on how the Ministry had given feedback on the Consultant’s good work, and how the Ministry is pleased with his performance.  According to him, all these were factored in their decision to keep the Consultant so he can continue to work in the Sector to positively affect the entire country. He further said that the project will be reviewed and inputs from the roundtable discussion will be factored into the preparation for the next phase.

In addition, Ms. Antoine Delige, encouraged the Ministry to get involved actively in the upcoming European Union legislation as it will directly affect the country’s activities, citing the reason that Ghana is among the top producers of cocoa. She opined that a foreign power cannot ‘produce’ legislation for another country without having active ambassadors from that country when they are the ones on the ground who will be directly affected by it.

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