Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Ghana

2014 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Ghana

Moderate Advancement

In 2014, Ghana made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government reconstituted the Human Trafficking Management Board (HTMB), which had been inactive in 2013. Additionally, the Ghana Police Service's Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) nearly doubled the number of investigators it employs and provided members with training on how to identify, investigate, and prosecute child labor cases. The Government also released the results of its Living Standards Survey Round 6, which included a subsection dedicated to child labor. However, children in Ghana continue to engage in the worst forms of child labor in agriculture, including in cocoa and fishing. Enforcement of legal protections against the worst forms of child labor is severely limited due to resource constraints, and social programs do not cover all of the sectors in which children work.

 

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Children in Ghana are engaged in the worst forms of child labor in agriculture, including in cocoa and fishing.(1-12) In August 2014, the Government released the results of the Living Standards Survey Round6, which estimates that 21.8 percent of all children in Ghana are engaged in child labor, with roughly half of these children engaged in hazardous work as defined by the law.(9) According to a report by Tulane University that assessed data collected during the 2013 — 2014 harvest season, there were an estimated 918,543 child laborers ages 5 to 17 in the cocoa sector, of which 95.7 percent were engaged in hazardous work in cocoa production.(13) Table 1 provides key indicators on children's work and education in Ghana.

Table 1. Statistics on Children's Work and Education

Working children, ages 5 to 14 (% and population):

43.5 (2,731,596)

School attendance, ages 5 to 14 (%):

83.1

Children combining work and school, ages 7 to 14 (%):

39.8

Primary completion rate (%):

98.5

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2013, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015.(14)
Source for all other data: Understanding Children's Work Project's analysis of statistics from MICS3 Survey, 2006.(15)

Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children's work by sector and activity.

Table 2. Overview of Children's Work by Sector and Activity

Sector/Industry

Activity

Agriculture

Land clearing,*† using machetes† and cutlasses† for weeding, collecting cocoa pods with a harvesting hook,† breaking cocoa pods,† working in the vicinity of pesticide spraying,† and carrying heavy loads† of water in the production of cocoa (4-7, 13)

Cultivating pineapple* (7)

Herding livestock*† (16)

Fishing for tilapia, and to a lesser extent for mudfish,* catfish,* and electric fish,* including producing bait, nets, and fishing gear;* launching,† paddling,† and draining canoes;† diving for fish;† casting and pulling fishing nets† and untangling them underwater; sorting, picking, cleaning,† smoking,† transporting,* and selling* fish; cleaning and repairing nets,* and building and repairing boats* (2, 3, 6, 8-12, 17, 18)

Industry

Quarrying and small-scale mining, sometimes for gold, including using mercury,*† digging in deep pits,† crushing rocks by hand,† carrying heavy loads,* and machine operation*† (6, 17, 19, 20)

Bricklaying* (16)

Services

Domestic work*† (16, 17, 21)

Transporting heavy loads as kayayes (mainly girls who carry loads on their head)*† (10, 17, 22)

Garbage scavenging,*† including sorting scavenged items*† and transporting items for sale*† (23)

Street work, including begging*† and hawking* (17, 24)

Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡

Commercial sexual exploitation sometimes as a result of human trafficking* (17, 25-27)

Forced begging and forced work in agriculture; fishing, including for tilapia; artisanal gold mining; domestic work; carrying heavy loads; and street vending; each sometimes as a result of human trafficking* (2, 24-30)

Forced ritual service for girls known as trokosi* (10, 17, 22, 31)

* Evidence of this activity is limited and/or the extent of the problem is unknown.
† Determined by national law or regulation as hazardous and, as such, relevant to Article 3(d) of ILO C. 182.
‡ Child labor understood as the worst forms of child labor per se under Article 3(a)–(c) of ILO C. 182.

Some girls in the Greater Accra and Volta Regions are involved in a form of ritual servitude whereby families give a young girl to officials of a local shrine in atonement for their family members' sins.(1, 10, 22, 31) These girls, known as trokosis, perform tasks such as fetching water, maintaining the shrines, and working on the priest's land. Their basic needs often go unmet, and they frequently suffer sexual and physical abuse.(10, 31) There has also been an increase in the number of young girls from the Northern Region who migrate to Accra to work in markets, carrying heavy loads on their heads as kayayes.(27)

Ghana is a source, transit, and destination country for the trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor, including in fishing.(2, 16, 24, 27) Children are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation, particularly in the Volta and Western Regions.(24, 27) Research found that child trafficking within Ghana was more predominant than transnational child trafficking.(3, 12, 27, 32) Ghanaian children are also transported to neighboring countries in West Africa as well as to Europe, the Middle East, and the United States for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation.(24, 27)

Primary education is free and compulsory in Ghana, and the Government has taken measures to increase access to education by providing free uniforms and books to some children.(11, 33) However, in practice, children must pay for school fees and materials, which may be prohibitive for many families.(2, 9, 10, 23). In addition, although school uniforms and birth certificates are not required to attend school, children lacking these are often turned away by school authorities.(16, 34) Some children, especially girls, are reported to be sexually assaulted and harassed by teachers or classmates.(16, 35, 36) Moreover, the shortage of classrooms, overcrowding in urban schools, and poor educational infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, severely limits access to education for many children.(2, 37-41)

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Ghana has ratified most key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).

Table 3. Ratification of International Conventions on Child Labor

Convention

Ratification

ILO C. 138, Minimum Age

ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor

UN CRC

UN CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict

UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

 

Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons

The Government has established laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 4).

Table 4. Laws and Regulations Related to Child Labor

Standard

Yes/No

Age

Related Legislation

Minimum Age for Work

Yes

15

Section 89 of the Children's Act (42)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Yes

18

Section 91 of the Children's Act (42)

Prohibition of Hazardous Occupations and/or Activities for Children

Yes

 

Sections 91-92 of the Children's Act; article 58 of the Labor Act (42, 43)

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Article 16.2 of the Constitution (44)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Sections 1-2 of the Human Trafficking Act (45)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Yes

 

Sections 107-108; 110-111; 274-277; 279-283 of the Criminal Code (46)

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

No

 

Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment

N/A*

 

 

Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service

Yes

18

Armed Forces Regulations (Administration) Volume I (47-49)

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

15

Article 2.2 of the Education Act (33)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Article 2.2 of the Education Act (33)

* No conscription (50)

Ghana's laws are not comprehensive with regard to commercial sexual exploitation of children and the use of children in illicit activities. Ghana does not have laws that specifically prohibit child pornography, including possessing child pornography or benefiting from its proceeds.(51) The law also does not proscribe penalties for recruiting, using, selling, or benefiting from the proceeds of commercial sexual exploitation of adults or children. Sections 101, 107, and 108 of the Criminal Code on prostitution only apply to children 15 years and younger, leaving children ages 16 to 17 without legal protection.(46) In addition, section 107 of the Criminal Code prohibits the procurement of any person younger than age 21 for prostitution, as long as that person is not a prostitute or of "known immoral character."(46) This makes punishment dependent on how others may judge the child's moral character, which may leave some child victims of commercial sexual exploitation unprotected.(46, 52) Further, penalties prescribed by the Criminal Code for child prostitution are not sufficiently severe to deter violations. The Criminal Code also creates certain barriers to prosecution, such as allowing an offender to defend himself with a reasonable belief that the child was 16 years of age or older.(46) Additionally, there are no laws prohibiting the use of children in illicit activities, including the offering, or procuring of a child for the production and trafficking of drugs.(22, 39, 46)

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The Government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 5).

Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations (MELR)

Enforce all labor laws and oversee child protection committees at the district level.(10, 16, 53) Implements the Ghana Child Labor Monitoring System (GCLMS) through the National Program for the Elimination of Child Labor in Cocoa (NPECLC), which enables communities to identify, report on, withdraw, and coordinate services for children in exploitative labor.(6, 17, 54-57)

District Assembly's District Social Welfare Officer and Social Services Subcommittee

Ensure child labor laws are enforced, perform spot checks on workplaces, and investigate child labor violations in the informal sector. Provide employers with information about how to comply with child labor laws.(2, 16, 39)

Ghana Police Service (GPS)

Make arrests and conduct investigations related to forced child labor, child trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, and the use of children for illicit activities. Enforce anti-trafficking laws through the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) of the Criminal Investigation Division, which leads the Government's efforts to implement the 2005 Human Trafficking Act.(10, 17, 24, 27) Maintain a 24/7 phone line for reporting crimes, including human trafficking violations and a Web site to promote awareness about human trafficking.(1) The Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit works with the AHTU to investigate cases of child trafficking.(17, 27) AHTUs maintain a permanent presence in all 11 of Ghana's police regions.(17, 58)

Economic and Organized Crime Office's Human Trafficking Unit

Share responsibility with the GPS's AHTU for investigating and prosecuting cases of human trafficking. Recover proceeds of human trafficking and provide ongoing training on preventing human trafficking.(27)

Office of the Attorney General

Prosecute child labor and child trafficking crimes.(17)

Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection (MGCSP)'s Human Trafficking Secretariat

Oversee the creation, implementation, and review of Ghana's human trafficking policies. Ensure proper monitoring, evaluation, and data collection through the human trafficking database, in cooperation with the local NGO Rescue Foundation, with funding from the UK High Commission.(17, 27) Convene the Human Trafficking Management Board (HTMB).(27)

Ghana Immigration Service

Maintain a desk at headquarters in Accra, as well as 10 regional desks throughout the country, each staffed with 10-15 officers who work on human trafficking cases.(27)

Community Child Protection Committees (CCPCs)

Participate in the GCLMS to monitor, prevent, and withdraw children from the worst forms of child labor in cocoa, as well as other sectors, in more than 600 communities nationwide.(17) Report cases to the GPS, the MGCSP's Department of Social Welfare (DSW), or traditional authorities, who work with the police to launch investigations.(17, 53)

Law enforcement agencies in Ghana took actions to combat child labor, including its worst forms.

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2014, the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations (MELR) had 97 labor inspectors responsible for the enforcement of all labor laws in the country, an increase from the 94 inspectors employed in 2013.(1, 17) However, this number remains insufficient to adequately enforce labor laws.(17) Research did not find how much funding the MELR received in 2014. Inspectors did not have sufficient resources, including office facilities, transportation, and fuel, to conduct inspections. Additionally, inspectors are not authorized to assess penalties.(1, 17, 51)

During the reporting period, the MELR provided training to 40 police officers in the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) on how to identify, investigate, and prosecute cases of child labor. Additionally, 47 of the MELR inspectors were trained on child labor issues, Ghana's child labor legal framework, the National Plan of Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor, and best practices for labor inspections.(17) However, the MELR's Child Labor Unit (CLU) reports that child labor training opportunities are insufficient for the number of inspectors and the scope of the child labor problem, particularly at the district level.(17, 59) Additional training is needed in areas that include communicating using basic information technology; effectively carrying out labor inspections; interpreting labor laws; and learning report writing techniques.(17) Research also found that judges, police, and labor officials were sometimes unfamiliar with the provisions of the law that protect children.(16, 27)

Article124 of the Labor Code permits inspectors to conduct unannounced visits in any type of workplace. Although inspectors had proactively planned child labor inspections, it is not known whether they had made unannounced visits.(17, 43) Research did not find information on the number or quality of the inspections conducted, whether inspections were carried out in all sectors, the number of child labor violations found, and the penalties assessed.(1, 16, 58) It is also not known how many calls the Ghana Police Service's (GPS) 24/7 hotline received related to child labor. A lack of resources further hindered the MELR's ability to effectively carry out its mission.(17) This resulted in a general lack of disaggregated and reliable data on the labor violations, the penalties imposed, and what type of assistance provided to victims.(10) Research did not find information about whether a referral mechanism exists between labor law enforcement and social service providers.

Criminal Law Enforcement

During the reporting period, the GPS's AHTU employed 102 investigators located throughout Ghana. This is a significant increase from the 58 investigators employed in 2013.(1, 27, 58) Despite the increase in the number of investigators, it is still insufficient to allow the AHTU to fulfill its mandate.(17) Information on the number of officials employed by the GPS to investigate other worst forms of child labor is unavailable. Research did not find how much funding the AHTU had received in 2014, although the AHTU indicated that funding was insufficient to maintain adequate logistical support, office facilities, transportation, and fuel.(17, 27) This lack of resources prevented the AHTU from investigating all the reports of human trafficking that were received.(27) Investigators typically receive training from the ILO, the IOM, UNICEF, Interpol, and the Department of State-funded International Law Enforcement Academy in Botswana. In 2014, the Director of the AHTU conducted training on trafficking in persons for new police officers at the police academy, and two AHTU officers travelled to Indonesia for INTERPOL training on trafficking in persons and smuggling.(17, 27, 51)

Although the AHTU refers victims of child trafficking to social service providers, there is not a formal referral mechanism in place. Moreover, there is no referral system for victims of other worst forms of child labor violations.(17, 27) In August 2014, the AHTU and a local NGO rescued 33 victims of child trafficking destined for the Lake Volta Region.(58, 60, 61) The Human Trafficking Secretariat reported that it had rescued 15 victims of child trafficking, conducted 94 investigations, prosecuted 15 cases, and convicted six individuals in 2014, double the number of convictions in 2013.(25, 27, 58) Additionally, coordination among agencies responsible for child labor laws is weak.(17)

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The Government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor, including its worst forms (Table 6).

Table 6. Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor

Coordinating Body

Role & Description

National Steering Committee on Child Labor (NSCCL)

Oversee coordination, implementation, and monitoring of the National Plan of Action (NPA) for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and programs targeting the worst forms of child labor, including reviewing and endorsing project proposals and supporting the implementation the GCLMS.(17, 62-64) Led by the MELR's Child Labor Unit (CLU) and comprising three subcommittees: (1)Policy Advisory, Education, and Skills Training; (2)Advocacy, Social Mobilization, and Child Labor Monitoring; and (3)Cocoa, Fisheries, and Mining and Quarrying.(2, 10, 17, 64, 65) Other members include representatives from the Ministries of the Interior, Food and Agriculture, Education, Local Government and Rural Development, Women and Children's Affairs, Employment and Social Welfare; employers' and workers' organizations; NGOs; the Ghana Cocoa Board; and international organizations.(65)

MELR's Child Labor Unit (CLU)

Coordinate child labor issues and provide technical support to ministries, departments and agencies, employers' and workers' organizations, and international agencies such as the ILO, the IOM, and UNICEF.(2, 39) Under the supervision of the NSCCL, lead implementation of the NPA.(27) In 2014, conducted three awareness-raising sessions in the Lake Volta Region, bringing together students, business owners, and traditional chiefs to discuss concrete ways to educate community members about child labor issues.(27)

Human Trafficking Management Board (HTMB)

Advise the MGCSP on human trafficking policy and promote prevention and rehabilitation strategies. Chaired by the MGCSP's Human Trafficking Secretariat, which convenes quarterly meetings of the intersectoral board that include police, immigration officials, local government, Ministries of Health and Education, and a parliamentarian, among others.(17) Comprised of five subcommittees: Monitoring and Evaluation; Research, Data Collection Information Dissemination, and Prevention; Legal Framework and Policy Development; Finance and Resource Mobilization; and Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration.(27)

MGCSP's Department of Social Welfare (DSW)

Implement cross-sectoral programs on social protection to combat child labor.(17)

National Partners Forum (NPF)

Discuss and coordinate interventions to address the worst forms of child labor in the cocoa sector. Convened by NPECLC within the MELR and comprised of district assemblies, NGOs, trade unions, and civil society organizations.(1, 66)

In 2014, the CLU was allocated a budget of approximately $10,960 to coordinate activities to address child labor, and an additional $5,950 to conduct activities for the World Day Against Child Labor. However, the CLU only received approximately $2,273 of the budgeted $10,960 in addition to the money received for World Day Against Child Labor activities.(17, 27, 58) The Government of Ghana reconstituted the HTMB, which was inactive in 2013, and it provided orientation for all its members in October 2014.(17) During the inaugural meeting, the Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection urged members to prioritize coordination and collaboration with partner organizations.(27) Although the Board is supposed to meet quarterly, it only met once in 2014, citing insufficient funding as the reason.(17, 27) The National Steering Committee on Child Labor (NSCCL) met three times in 2014.(17, 51)

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The Government of Ghana has established policies related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table7).

Table 7. Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

National Plan of Action (NPA) for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor (2009–2015)

Provides a comprehensive framework to significantly reduce the worst forms of child labor by 2015 and identifies specific roles for various ministries, NGOs, and civil society.(2, 27) Aims to reduce all forms of child labor but prioritizes nine key sectors: child trafficking; trokosi; mining and quarrying; fishing; commercial sexual exploitation; kayayes and carrying heavy loads; agriculture; domestic work; and street vending.(27) Creates a framework for the new GCLMS that addresses all sectors in which the worst forms of child labor are present.(17, 27, 39) Helps coordinate 23 institutions and government agencies to combat child labor through data collection and analysis.(6, 67) Led by the CLU under the supervision of the NSCCL.(17)

Hazardous Child Labor Activity Frameworks

Comprises both the Hazardous Child Labor Activity Framework and the Hazardous Child Labor Activity Framework for the Cocoa Sector, which were developed in consultation with workers' and employers' organizations and prohibit hazardous activities for children. The existing framework extends protection to all child workers and supplements Ghana's existing laws on child labor.(68, 69)

ECOWAS Regional Action Plan for the Elimination of Child Labor, Especially the Worst Forms (2013–2015)

Aims to eliminate worst forms of child labor in West Africa by 2015 through the implementation of a regional action plan with 14 other ECOWAS countries.(70) In 2014, met to discuss actions taken since Ghana's 2013 Peer Review, progress of the Regional Action Plan's implementation, and the ILO's Study on "Child Labor and Educational Marginalization in West Africa."(71, 72)

2010 Declaration of Joint Action to Support the Implementation of the Harkin-Engel Protocol (2010 Declaration) and Its Accompanying Framework of Action

Under this joint declaration, the Governments of Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, the United States, and the International Cocoa and Chocolate Industry provide resources and coordinate with key stakeholders on efforts to reduce the worst forms of child labor in cocoa-producing areas.(73, 74) The Governments take steps to ensure that all project efforts implemented under the Declaration and Frameworks align with Ghana's national action plans in order to promote coherence and sustainability.(62, 73, 74)

Ministry of Food and Agriculture's Child Labor Strategic Plan (2013–2015)

Aims to improve coordination and monitors implementation of efforts to address child labor in the agriculture, cocoa, and fishing sectors by 2015. Works with farmers and fishermen to increase their livelihoods and their awareness of child labor.(75, 76)

UNDAF (2012–2016)

Aims to provide education or vocational training opportunities to children ages 5 to 17 withdrawn or prevented from engaging in child labor as part of Ghana's National Development Priority for Human Development, Productivity, and Employment.(77)

Education Strategic Plan (2003–2015)*

Seeks to improve access to and the quality of education by 2015, particularly at the primary level, by increasing opportunities for out-of-school and hard-to-reach children, providing scholarships to needy students, and improving education infrastructure.(38)

Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (F-CUBE)

Aims to enable all children in Ghana to attend primary school by improving educational quality, improving access to education, raising the enrollment of hard-to-reach and out-of-school children, and increasing the management efficiency of the education sector.(17, 38)

* Child labor elimination and prevention strategiesdo not appear to have been integrated into this policy.

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In 2014, the Government of Ghana funded and participated in programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms. The Government also has other programs that may have an impact on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 8).

Table 8. Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program

Description

National Program for the Elimination of Child Labor in Cocoa (NPECLC)‡

Housed within the MELR, provides awareness-raising in cocoa-growing communities, increases access to education, builds institutional capacity for organizations combatting child labor, and aims to strengthen legal protections for child workers as part of the NPA. Oversees interventions to eliminate the worst forms of child labor at the community level.(17, 53, 78, 79) In 2014, established nine Information Communication Technology (ICT) centers and held a training workshop for ICT teachers in February. NPECLC also focused on scaling up the GCLMS and completed a trainers' manual on how to identify and withdraw children from situations of exploitative child labor.(58, 79) By the end of 2014, NPECLC was monitoring and supporting 7,191 children at risk of child labor.(79)

Eliminating the Worst Forms of Child Labor in West Africa by Strengthening Subregional Cooperation through ECOWAS (ECOWAS I) (2009–2014)

$7.95 million USDOL-funded, 5-year project implemented by the ILO with direct interventions to accelerate progress on the elimination of the worst forms of child labor in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. Supported Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to strengthen its role in combating the worst forms of child labor in the West Africa subregion by providing policy and capacity-building support for all ECOWAS states.(80) By the close of the project in April 2014, had withdrawn or prevented 5,536 children from the worst forms of child labor in fishing, mining, and agricultural production in Ghana and provided livelihoods services to 440 Ghanaian households. Helped establish CCPCs in 120 communities in the country.(81, 82)

Eliminating the Worst Forms of Child Labor in West Africa by Strengthening Subregional Cooperation through ECOWAS (ECOWAS II) (2010–2014)

Linked to the ECOWAS I project, a $5 million USDOL-funded, 4-year project implemented by the ILO with direct interventions in Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. Supported ECOWAS to strengthen its role in combating the worst forms of child labor in the West Africa subregion by providing policy and capacity-building support for all ECOWAS states.(83) In Ghana, worked with the Government to support the initial stages of implementation of GCLMS in 20 communities. By the close of project in April 2014, the project had also provided education services to 1,004 children and livelihoods services to 1,124 households in Ghana.(84)

Towards Child Labor Free Cocoa Growing Communities in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana through an Integrated Area-Based Approach (2010–2015)

$10 million USDOL-funded, 4-year project implemented by the ILO. In support of the 2010 Declaration of Joint Action to Support the Implementation of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, goal was to reduce the worst forms of child labor in cocoa-producing areas in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana by providing direct services to communities.(40, 73) In Ghana, aimed to rescue more than 2,500 children and provide livelihood assistance to at least 1,000 households.(40) Works with the Government to support the GCLMS in cocoa-growing areas. By the end of 2014, the project had withdrawn or prevented 2,879 children from engaging in child labor by providing educational services and provided livelihood services to 2,145 households in Ghana.(63)

Survey on Child Labor in West African Cocoa-Growing Areas (2012–2015)

$1.9 million USDOL-funded, 3-year research project implemented by the Payson Center at Tulane University. Supports the collection of nationally representative survey data on child labor in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana to assess the prevalence of the worst forms of child labor in cocoa-growing areas.(55, 62, 85) Coordinates with the Government and works with government statistical experts to build the country's capacity to implement future child labor surveys.(62) In Ghana, the project conducted a nationally representative survey in the cocoa sector during the 2013-2014 harvest season.(13)

Industry-Funded Projects in Support of the 2010 Declaration

Aims to reduce the prevalence of child labor in Ghana's cocoa-growing areas, including by improving children's access to education and increasing household incomes.(73, 74, 86) Funding provided by the cocoa industry in Ghana as follows: Ferrero, $1.14million; Hershey, $600,000; and Moñdelez International, $1.55 million.(62) Global Issues Group provided $2 million for a project being implemented in both Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire.(62)

Follow-up to the resolution on child labour statistics adopted at the 18th International Conference of Labor Statisticians through methodological development and expansion of child labor data collection

$3.5 million USDOL-funded, 4-year project implemented by the ILO. Included a subsurvey on child labor within the Ghana Statistical Service's Ghana Living Standards Survey.(87) Results were not available during reporting period.(1, 87)

Reintegration and Repatriation Services‡

The HTMB's Human Trafficking Fund provides financial support to human trafficking victims, including children; entails Government-assisted repatriating of victims when possible.(17, 27) The AHTU and DSW operate shelters and provide support services to victims of child trafficking with support from the IOM and UNICEF.(12, 27, 32) NGOs also operate shelters for victims of exploitative child labor in the Lake Volta Region.(27)

Anti-Human Trafficking Project (2014–2016)†

French Ministry of Foreign Affairs-funded, 3-year project to fight human trafficking in the Gulf of Guinea; implemented locally by Plan Ghana.(26) Provides training to Civil Society Organizations and shelters on delivering psychosocial support to victims of human trafficking, legal framework, reporting needs, and advocacy. Aims to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute crimes.(26, 88)

Livelihoods Empowerment Against Poverty*‡

Government-funded conditional cash transfer program that provides monetary grants to households on the condition that children attend school and not engage in child labor. Aims to reach 300,000 households by 2015.(1, 17, 27, 39) Provided approximately $1.5 million to 76,913 households in 103 districts throughout the country in 2014.(17)

Child Protection Compact Partnership†

US Department of State and Government of Ghana compact that aims to reduce child trafficking through increased efficiency and improved coordination between the MGCSP, Ministry of the Interior, GPS, and the Office of the Attorney General. Aims to improve prosecution and conviction of individuals guilty of child trafficking and improve protection for victims.(72)

Empowering Cocoa Households with Opportunities and Education Solutions (2007–2015)*

World Cocoa Foundation, USAID, and the International Chocolate and Cocoa Industry project implemented by World Education and Winrock that strengthens cocoa-growing communities by expanding education for youth and young adults; empowers community based organizations; and improving household livelihoods.(89)

Programs to Assist Kayayes*‡

DSW program, with the support of community based organizations, that provides rehabilitation and reintegration facilities for kayayes. The Women's Development Fund provides microcredit and income-generating activities for the mothers of kayayes.(22)

Education Programs*‡

Government-funded programs under F-CUBE that aim to increase school attendance and enrollment.(17, 27, 38) Ghana School Feeding Program, ongoing since 2005, aims to reduce malnutrition among children attending school in selected schools by providing meals and covering other incidental costs.(2, 16, 17, 39, 52) Capitation Grant Scheme pays school fees for all students attending public primary schools.(2, 16, 17, 39, 52) Ghana Education Service provides scholarships to girls, and free housing to female for junior and senior high school teachers.(16) Also places girls' education officers at the regional and district levels, and mobilizes communities to enroll more girls in school.(16)

National Health Insurance Scheme*‡

As part of the NPA, which aims to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, this government program waives health insurance premiums for children, requiring a minimal registration fee.(17, 39)

Millennium Villages*

Seeks to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals by increasing universal primary education, improving access to health care and sanitation services, and providing livelihood assistance to agricultural families. Established early childhood education centers in villages with no primary schools.(90)

Public Awareness Campaigns‡

Various Ministry-funded programs that aim to raise awareness of child trafficking and educate community members on human trafficking issues.(27) In 2014, Head of the Human Trafficking Secretariat conducted eight public outreach appearances on radio and television. Additionally, the Secretariat collaborated with two NGOs to show a documentary on child trafficking on 540 inter-city buses that travelled throughout the country.(27)

* The impact of this program on child labor does not appear to have been studied.
† Program was approved during the reporting period.
‡ Program is funded by the Government of Ghana.

Insufficient funding has limited the Government's ability to provide shelters for victims of child trafficking, and those that exist are frequently understaffed and lack adequate security.(10, 12, 26, 27, 88) Although the Government has worked closely with industry; NGOs; and international organizations to implement child labor programs in cocoa, fishing, and mining, the size of these programs remains insufficient to address the scope of the problem. Research found no evidence of programs to assist children involved in commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor in domestic work.

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Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor, including its worst forms, in Ghana (Table 9).

Table 9. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

Ratify the UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.

2013–2014

Prohibit child pornography and ensure laws prohibit the possession of child pornography or benefitting from its proceeds.

2014

Strengthen protections for children against commercial sexual exploitation by removing barriers to prosecution and ensuring that penalties are sufficiently severe to deter violations and that the law applies equally to all children, regardless of age, moral standing, or occupation.

2014

Ensure laws prohibit children from being used, offered, or procured for the production and trafficking of drugs.

2009–2014

Enforcement

Allocate and disburse adequate funding to support enforcement efforts, including by increasing the number of labor inspectors and AHTU investigators; and providing them with adequate training, particularly in the areas of using basic information technology; effectively carrying out labor inspections; interpreting labor laws; and report writing techniques.

2009–2014

Strengthen law enforcement by authorizing inspectors to assess penalties for labor violations.

2014

Collect and make public statistics on the number of inspections and investigations conducted, violations found, penalties assessed, prosecutions, and convictions under child labor and trafficking laws, as well as the disaggregated data on the number of calls related to child labor made to the Ghana Police Service's 24/7 hotline.

2010–2014

Strengthen coordination among agencies responsible for child labor issues, and develop a referral system between labor and criminal law enforcement agencies and social service providers.

2013–2014

Coordination

Ensure the Human Trafficking Management Board, National Partners Forum, and the Child Labor Unit receive adequate funding to convene on a regular basis and fulfill their respective coordinating roles.

2013–2014

Government Policies

Integrate child labor elimination and prevention strategies into the Education Strategic Plan.

2013–2014

Social Programs

Increase access to education by:

  • Ensuring an adequate number of classrooms;

  • Improving school infrastructure;

  • Eliminating school-related fees; and

  • Ensuring school administrators and teachers allow children without birth certificates and uniforms to attend school.

2010–2014

Assess the impact that existing social programs may have on addressing child labor.

2013–2014

Ensure that shelters that assist child trafficking victims have adequate funding, staff, and security to provide appropriate services.

2014

Create, replicate, and/or expand effective models for addressing exploitative child labor, including commercial sexual exploitation and forced domestic work..

2009–2014

 

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