Accra, Dec. 12, GNA- Global March Anglophone Africa is promoting Ghana’s status as a Pathfinder Country (PfC) by assisting the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to build up advocacy towards the achievement of Alliance 8.7. objectives.
Alliance 8.7. is an inclusive global partnership committed to achieving target 8.7. of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Thematic areas under the SDGs Target 8.7 are forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking, worst forms of child labour and child labour.
Estimates by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) indicate 40 million people are in modern slavery, including 24 million in forced labour and 15 million in forced marriages.
Also, there are 152 million children in child labour, with 73 million in the worst forms, particularly hazardous work.
The largest numbers and proportions are in Africa: 72 million children, including 31.5 million in some worst forms of hazardous work.
More seriously, progress seems to be stalling: over the period 2012 to 2016 when other regions were making progress, child labour in sub-Saharan Africa increased.
In Ghana, child labour is ubiquitous, prevalent in various districts and affecting about two million children according to the last national report by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in 2014.
It was for this reason that Global March Anglophone in collaboration with the Network of Social Mobilisation Partners against Child Labour organised a seminar to enhance the capacity of the media on child labour as part of SDGs.
The meeting is to inform, educate and equip media professionals including social media actors on Alliance 8.7 and the strategic engagement of Pathfinder Countries to enhance the elimination of forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking and all forms of child labour.
The training is dubbed: « Mobilising Action for Alliance 8.7 Pathfinder Work in Ghana. »
Mr Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe, the Coordinator for Global March Anglophone, said the strategic objectives of the Alliance were accelerating action, conducting research and sharing knowledge, driving innovation and leveraging resources.
He said towards its objective of accelerating action, Alliance 8.7. recognised PfC identified to demonstrate how Target 8.7. could be achieved.
He said Ghana was one of the current 22 countries recognised as a PfC and working to promote the achievement of Target 8.7. but it has been challenged by the peculiar circumstances occasioned by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
He said the meeting was to educate the media on Alliance 8.7 and Ghana’s participation as a Pathfinder Country and to enhance their knowledge on national progress towards achievement of SDG Target 8.7.
« It is to empower journalists to write and publish news stories, articles and features on COVID- 19 related issues and share knowledge with media professionals on the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on child labour, » he said.
Mr Emmanuel Kwame Mensah, Government of Ghana Consultant on Child Labour, said as a country « we need a sense of realism and practicality in addressing the issues of child labour. »
He urged the media to make a case for the menace from a socio-cultural to socio-economic point of view.
The Consultant said the thematic areas under the SDGs Target 8.7 are forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking, worst forms of child labour and child labour.
He said every fifth child was estimated to be engaged in unacceptable work, harmful to the child, harmful to the economy and undermines the international labour standards.
« This is not Ghana, » he added.
The organisers used the opportunity to commission Alliance Advocates, comprising selected journalists to accelerate awareness raising and local action to achieve Target 8.7.