Government reviews framework on child labour activity

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Participants in the workshop
Participants in the workshop

The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) has initiated a process to review the hazardous child labour activity framework (HAF) into a more comprehensive policy that can help eradicate child labour and its worse form in the country.

The review is expected to explore the processes of zoning the country into specific hazard zones and outline modalities for the adoption of the revised HAF into law.

It will take into consideration new provisions of the amended Minerals and Mining Act, 2015 (Act 900) and the Minerals Commission Act, 1993 (Act 450), the Labour (Domestic Workers) Regulations, 2020, LI 2408.

The exercise will also focus on the changing dynamics of the world of work with regard to the technological advancement, evolution of work ethics and culture, climate change and diversification of agriculture that might have introduced new hazards and made some earlier known hazards obsolete.

As a result, the Trade for Decent Work (T4DW) project under the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is supporting the ministry in the review exercise to collect inputs and revise the outdated HAF.

The workshop

The Chief Labour Officer at the Labour Department, Mr. Eugene Narh, at a workshop meant to engage stakeholders on the review at Teiman in the Greater Accra Region on November 5, stated that the review had become necessary because the HAF had been in operation for almost a decade.

The workshop enabled the technical team which comprises members of the National Steering Committee to engage with officers from selected metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to gather their inputs on the topic.

After this workshop, the team is expected to also seek experts’ opinion to fine-tune the document and discuss the modalities of adopting the revised HAF into law.

Best options

Mr. Narh said the overall objective of the HAF was to provide a comprehensive, age-appropriate, contextually relevant and acceptable hazardous child labour framework to the enforcement of the provision of the convention and other legal frameworks on the child and to guide implementation and monitoring of interventions.

When completed, he said the reviewed HAF would facilitate the identification, quantification and evaluation of hazardous child labour incidents and raise evidence for future studies.

He said it would also provide the best options for intervention and evaluation to safeguard the health, safety, development and education of the children.

“The review of the HAF is crucial to provide the country with measurable indicators and identifiable issues that will help us come up with the definition on child labour in accordance with international conventions,” he said.

Specific hazard zones

The National Project Manager of the Trade for Decent Work at the ILO Office in Ghana, Dr. Akua Ofori-Asumadu, stated that the project was supporting the ministry in the review exercise to fine-tune the outdated HAF.

“It is now important to streamline these inputs, zone out the hazardous activities area and expand based on prevalence of specific hazards.

“This will enable government and partners devise specific strategies in these zonal or geographical bases to effectively eliminate worse forms of child labour (WFCL) in all sectors and as well consider the modalities for adopting the revised HAF into law,” she added.