Ghana is making progress in establishing Child Labour Free Zones (CLFZ) nationwide with its development partners.
Already, the CLFZ initiative supports homegrown data on child labour and efforts so far at eliminating it.
This data is organic, generated and validated in Ghana and according to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, it would inform policy initiatives when completed.
This was revealed at a consultative seminar for development partners, organised by the ministry with the support of JICA.
According to the minister, often, foreigners and non-governmental organisations churned out controversial figures on child labour.
He said the recent statistics by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) showed child labour data was relatively low as compared to those reported by foreign researchers.
Mr Baffour-Awuah did not, however, rule out the fact that child labour was prevalent in the country.
He cited the indictment of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the US Notch Report as examples of such controversial figures, which had implications on Ghana’s cocoa.
Mr Baffour-Awuah commended all development partners for their support in pioneering the CLFZs project.
The JICA in 2020 supported the ministry to launch the establishment of the CLFZs protocols and guidelines. Between October 2020 and April 2022, the agency, through its study team, together with the ministry, agreed to conduct pilot activities on eight indicators in the guidelines.
That was to ascertain the effectiveness and efficiency of the document and gain traction in all efforts at CLFZ, specifically at the Atwima Mponua District Assembly (AMBA) in the Ashanti Region and the Bibiani Anhwiaso Berkwai Municipality (BABMA) in Western North Region, where the project was piloted.
For his part, a representative from the JICA, Ghana Office, Ozawa Maki said the dissemination of the study result by the JICA was a response and action from other donors to accelerate efforts.
She added that there was the need for concerted efforts, synergies and collaboration on resource mobilisation.
Additionally, that was to channel resources and ultimately generating holistic national data on child labour to meet the global SDGs target 8.7 of reducing child labour to the barest minimum by 2025.
She reiterated the JICAs readiness to continuously support the fight towards CLFZ, a child labour free Ghana and child labour-free world.
In all, there were 69 development partners at the meeting, with messages from the World Bank, Verite’ Ghana, the International Labour Organisation, the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), the GIZ, the UNICEF and the FAO.