Mr Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director, Media Foundation for West Africa has urged journalists to make personal commitment to contribute towards eliminating child labour.
Mr Sulemana said the issue of child labour should not be raised only when it is during the World Day against Child Labour but it should be treated with all seriousness because child labour affects national development He made this remarks during the media launch of this year’s World Day against child labour in Accra.
Whether or not particular forms of ‘’work’’ can be called ‘’child/light work’’ , ‘’child labour’’ or ‘ the Worst Forms of Child Labour’’ depend on the child’s age , type of work performed, the time and duration of work, the conditions under which it is performed and the objectives pursued by individual countries.
Over 60% of children not attending school are engaged in child labour, (35.4%) or its worst forms/hazardous work (28.3%). Meanwhile, as the gross and net enrolment ratios continued their increasing trends over the past five years, completion rates in basic education decreased for both primary and JHS in the 2013/2014 school years, jerking a four-year increasing trend between 2009 and 2013.
Retention rates were stagnant. Keeping children in school for quality education is an effective antidote to child labour. Many children are combining working with school attendance. This is affecting the quality of education they get. The detrimental effects of child labour on education cannot be camouflaged by keeping children in school without fully withdrawing them from inappropriate work.
All workers have the right to safe and healthy work. Young workers (15-24 year olds) suffer up to 40 per cent higher rate of non-fatal occupational injuries than adult workers above the age of 25. In addition to injuries, the workplace hazards they face often put their health and very lives at risk. Children have the right to be protected from all forms of child labour, including hazardous work, which affects 73 million children worldwide.
Child labour affects all sectors of our economy. If we don’t deal decisively with it, it will remain blight on our future. But if we dare to eliminate it, especially the worst forms, then we are sure of securing the future for our children, our country and many generations yet unborn.
By: Latifa Carlos