Sunday, December 2, 2007

ILO Assesses Child Welfare Programme

By Edmund Mingle

Friday, 30 November 2007

A THREE-day workshop aimed at assisting stakeholders of the Lutrena Good Practices and Lessons Learnt Partners, a child welfare prog-ramme, to document the findings and achievements of the programme, started in Accra yesterday.

The Lutrena project, initiated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2002 is part of efforts by the organisation to compile technical notes on good practices and participatory processes towards supporting victims of child trafficking.

Daniel Dugan, Deputy Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, opening the workshop, lauded the objective of the project saying it was important to create a pool of resources from many stakeholders for the fight against child trafficking.

He noted that Ghana was one of the first countries to ratify the UN convention on the rights of the child adopted at the 1990 World Summit on Child, and explained that the ratification of the convention provided a critical policy framework and strategies demonstrating the government’s commitment to meet the needs of children in Ghana.

"Government has been making strenuous efforts to address many factors underlying the child labour problem," he said.

In addition, he said a memorandum of understanding was signed with the ILO in 2000 to eliminate the worst forms of child labour.

He said the constitution guarantees the child’s protection from engaging in any work that is considered injurious to his health, education or development.

"The Children’s Act 1998 (ACT 560) seeks to protect the rights of children, including the right to education, health, shelter and proscribes the engagement of children in exploitative labour, which in line with Article 28 (2) of the constitution, is seen as any labour which deprives the child of his health, education or development," he said.

He however said these guarantees reflected the nation’s growing concern about the employment of children, particularly in activities that are exploitative.

Mr Dugan said many institutions in Ghana were also working to combat human trafficking. The ILO runs several programmes that directly has a bearing on trafficking.

Mr Matthew Dally, National Programme Coordinator of the ILO said the outcome of the workshop will be disseminated through a global workshop; to exchange achievements and assess the feasibility of replication at country and project levels.

He said it will also provide the organisa-tion the opportunity for self examination, and critical assessment of their mandate and how they have fared over the years.

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