Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Ghana

Cocoa
Cocoa
Child Labor Icon
Fish
Fish
Child Labor Icon
Forced Child Labor Icon
Forced Labor Icon
Gold
Gold
Child Labor Icon
Tilapia (Fish)
Tilapia (Fish)
Child Labor Icon
Forced Child Labor Icon
Forced Labor Icon
Ghana
2018 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Moderate Advancement

In 2018, Ghana made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The government secured at least 14 convictions for offenses related to the worst forms of child labor, approved the National Plan of Action Phase II on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor, and launched a strategy to combat child labor in the fishing sector. Additionally, representatives from the government met with counterparts from Burkina Faso, Benin, and Togo to discuss coordinating efforts to combat cross-border trafficking. However, children in Ghana continue to engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in fishing and cocoa harvesting, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. Prohibitions related to the commercial sexual exploitation of children and the use of children for illicit activities do not meet international standards. The government also has not acceded to the UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and resource constraints severely limited government social protection agencies’ abilities to fully implement social programs during the reporting period.

Children in Ghana engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in fishing and cocoa harvesting, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. (1-5) Table 1 provides key indicators on children’s work and education in Ghana.


Table 1. Statistics on Children’s Work and Education

Children

Age

Percent

Working (% and population)

5 to 14

24.7 (1,721,914)

Working children by sector

5 to 14

 

Agriculture

 

78.7

Industry

 

3.7

Services

 

17.6

Attending School (%)

5 to 14

91.7

Combining Work and School (%)

7 to 14

25.3

Primary Completion Rate (%)

 

93.8

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2018, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2019. (6)

Source for all other data: International Labor Organization's analysis of statistics from Living Standard Survey, Round 6, 2012–2013. (7)

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

Producing cocoa,† including 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 (2,5,8-14) 

Production of palm oil† and cotton, including weeding, harvesting, and acting as scarecrows (11,14,15) 

Herding livestock, including cattle,† hunting, and work in slaughterhouses (14,16,17)

Fishing,† including for tilapia; preparing 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 (1-3,8,10,12,14,15,18-21)

Industry

Quarrying† and small-scale mining,† sometimes for gold, including using mercury, digging in deep pits, crushing rocks by hand, carrying heavy loads,† and operating machinery† (2,4,11,12,18,22-25) 

Manufacturing and working in sawmills† (4,11) 

Construction and bricklaying or carrying brick (14,16) 

Services

Domestic work† (9,13,14,18) 

Transporting heavy loads as kayayei† (3,8,14,18,26,27,28)  

Work in transportation,† activities unknown (4)

Electronic waste and garbage scavenging,† including sorting scavenged items† and transporting items for sale† (29-32) 

Street work,† including begging,† small-scale vending, and working at restaurants or bars† (4,11,14,33)  

Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡

Commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking (8,13,17,18,34-36)

Forced labor in begging; agriculture, including herding; fishing, including for tilapia; artisanal gold mining; domestic work; and street work, including vending and carrying heavy loads, each sometimes as a result of human trafficking (1,3,14,17,19,20,37-39) 

Forced ritual servitude for girls known as trokosi, including in domestic work for priests (3,12,14,18,27,34,36,39,40) 

† 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 seunder Article 3(a)–(c) of ILO C. 182.

The majority of children subject to human trafficking are transported within Ghana for labor in cocoa, domestic work, commercial sexual exploitation, gold mining, and fishing. Children as young as age 4 are subjected to forced labor in fishing in the areas around Lake Volta, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. (17,20,24,27,34,38,39) In December 2018, 42 children between the ages of 5 and 16 who had been transported from Central and Greater Accra were rescued from labor exploitation on Lake Volta. (41,42)

During the reporting period, the government identified 22 children who were victims of sex trafficking. (8) Children also use sharp tools and are exposed to agro-chemicals while working in the cocoa sector. (5,11) In addition, girls as young as 13 years of age from rural northern regions of Ghana travel to urban centers to work as kayayei carrying heavy loads on their heads in markets, and are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation. (28)

According to the Constitution and the Education Act, primary education in Ghana is free and compulsory from kindergarten through junior high school. (43,44) However, in practice, children must pay for school uniforms, fees, and materials, which may be prohibitive for many families. (1,3,9,12,24,29,36,45,46,47) In addition, factors such as a shortage of classrooms, long distance to schools, absence of sanitation facilities, overcrowding in urban areas, sexual harassment of girls in schools, physical violence, verbal abuse, and poor educational infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, severely limit access to education for many children. (1,9,12,14,24,36,45,47) In response, the government has made efforts to increase the accessibility of public education, including by building schools to reduce the distance students must travel, providing school uniforms, lifting birth registration requirements for enrollment, and extending free education through high school. (48,47)  Although uniforms and birth certificates are required for admittance into free public school, in practice students are not denied admission if they do not have uniforms or birth certificates. (49) The extension of free senior high school throughout the country has resulted in an influx of students and overcrowded schools. To address this issue, in 2018, the government introduced a dual-track system whereby students, typically between the ages of 13 and 17, may attend school in alternating semesters and take advantage of opportunities such as vocational training when they are not in school. (8,49) However, reports suggest that such opportunities are often not readily available. As a result, these children are vulnerable to recruitment into child labor. (8) The government operates 14 national schools for deaf and blind students. (47)

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 (Table 4). However, gaps exist in Ghana’s legal framework to adequately protect children from the worst forms of child labor, including the use of children in commercial sexual exploitation.


Table 4. Laws and Regulations on Child Labor

Standard

Meets International Standards

Age

Legislation

Minimum Age for Work

Yes

15

Section 89 of the Children’s Act (50)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Yes

18

Section 91 of the Children’s Act (50)

Identification of Hazardous Occupations or Activities Prohibited for Children

Yes

 

Articles 28.1d, 28.2, and 28.5 of the Constitution; Article 7 of the Labor Regulations Legislative Instrument; Sections 91 and 92 of the Children’s Act; Article 58 of the Labor Act (43,50-53)  

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Articles 16.1 and 16.2 of the Constitution; Articles 116 and 117 of the Labor Act; Sections 1–3 and 42 of the Human Trafficking Act; Sections 1 and 2 of the Human Trafficking Prohibition Legislative Instrument (43,51,54,55)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Sections 1 and 2 of the Human Trafficking Act; Sections 1 and 2 of the Human Trafficking Prohibition Legislative Instrument; Articles 21–25 of the Labor Regulations Legislative Instrument (52,54,55)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

No

 

Sections 101A, 107–108, 110, 111, 274–277, and 279–283 of the Criminal Offenses Act; Article 7(2) of the Labor Regulations Legislative Instrument (52,56) 

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

No

   

Minimum Age for Voluntary State Military Recruitment

Yes

18

Ghana Armed Forces General Eligibility (Recruits) (57)

Prohibition of Compulsory Recruitment of Children by (State) Military

Yes*

 

Ghana Armed Forces General Eligibility (Recruits) (57)

Prohibition of Military Recruitment by Non-state Armed Groups

No

   

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

15‡

Article 2.2 of the Education Act (44)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Article 25.1.a of the Constitution; Articles 1.1, 1.2, and 2.2 of the Education Act (43,44) 

* No conscription (58)
‡ Age calculated based on available information (58)

In February 2018, the government approved the National Plan of Action Phase II on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor (NPA2), and in doing so, effectively approved the Hazardous Child Labor Activity Framework (HAF). The HAF serves as a guide to implement the NPA2 and extends the scope of prohibited hazardous work activities to work in agriculture, domestic work, and lake fishing. (8,49,59) However, supplementary implementing regulations to the Labor Act, which were drafted in 2016 and include protections for domestic workers, were not issued in the reporting period. (49,60) In addition, Ghana’s laws do not criminally prohibit the use of a child in pornographic performances. (61)

The government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor (Table 5). However, gaps exist within the authority of the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations (MELR) that may hinder adequate enforcement of their child labor laws.


Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations (MELR)

Enforces child labor laws. In 2018, budgeted approximately $67,000 for activities to combat child labor. (8) In September 2018, organized a national forum to discuss and review the Ghana Child Labor Monitoring System (GCLMS), a monitoring, data collection, and referral mechanism. (62)

Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development

Oversees District Assemblies. Labor inspectors from District Assemblies investigate child labor violations, educate employers on compliance with child labor laws, and conduct inspections. (1,63,48) Within District Assemblies, Social Services subcommittees enforce child labor provisions in the informal sector. (50,64) In 2018, District Assemblies in Ada and Afram Plains funded and organized ceremonies to commemorate World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. (42,64) Additionally, in 2018, both Aowin and Adansi North districts published medium term development plans which aim to facilitate intra-district collaboration and coordination on addressing child labor in cocoa production and in mining.(62,65,66)  

Ministry of the Interior (MOI)

Through its Ghana Police Service (GPS), investigates, arrests, and prosecutes cases related to the worst forms of child labor and operates a 24/7 hotline for reporting crimes. (67) Within the GPS, the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit and Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) investigate cases and provide support to victims. (3,14,37,48) Through its Ghana Immigration Service, combats human trafficking through Anti-Human Smuggling and Trafficking Units. (67-69)  

Ministry of Justice’s Office of the Attorney General

Combats child labor by prosecuting child labor and child trafficking crimes. (48) Within the Economic and Organized Crime Office, the Human Trafficking Unit shares responsibility with the AHTU for combating human trafficking, confiscating proceeds from human trafficking, and providing ongoing training for law enforcement on prevention measures. (70,71) In February 2018, the governing board of the Economic and Organized Crime was inaugurated, and the number of staff on the board was increased from four to seven. (42)  

Minerals Commission

Inspects licensed mining sites and raises awareness among criminal law enforcement agencies of laws that apply to the mining sector. (24) 

Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection (MOGCSP)

Combats child labor and leads government efforts to combat human trafficking. (67) Through its Department of Social Welfare (DSW), operates shelters for vulnerable children, administers juvenile justice, and implements programs to combat child labor. (14,70,72) Through its Human Trafficking Secretariat, oversees the creation, implementation, and review of human trafficking policies and ensures proper monitoring, evaluation, and data collection. (67) Operates a hotline to facilitate access to social services, including for victims of human trafficking. The hotline received 3,599 calls in 2018. (8,69)  

Community Child Protection Committees (CCPCs)/District Child Protection Committees (DCPCs)

Receive complaints of child labor violations at the community and district levels, respectively, and report cases to the GPS, DSW, or traditional authorities, who work with the police to conduct investigations. (24,73,74) Participate in the GCLMS to monitor, prevent, and withdraw children from the worst forms of child labor in more than 600 communities nationwide as part of the Child and Family Welfare Policy. (16,33,46) During the reporting period, many communities either had defunct CCPCs or lacked CCPCs, and some districts’ DCPCs were inactive. (75) 

Although the Attorney General’s Department is responsible for prosecuting child trafficking violations, there were an insufficient number of state attorneys designated to prosecute human trafficking crimes. Instead, the majority of cases were handled by the Ghana Police Service (GPS) prosecutors, who often have minimal formal legal training and are limited by procedural rules not applicable to state attorneys. (49,67)

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2018, labor law enforcement agencies in Ghana took actions to combat child labor (Table 6). However, gaps exist within the authority of the MELR that may hinder adequate labor law enforcement, including the authority of labor inspectors to assess penalties.


Table 6. Labor Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Labor Law Enforcement

2017

2018

Labor Inspectorate Funding

Unknown (48)

Unknown (8) 

Number of Labor Inspectors

105 (48)

97 (8) 

Inspectorate Authorized to Assess Penalties

No (48)

No (8) 

Initial Training for New Labor Inspectors

Yes (48)

No (8) 

 

Training on New Laws Related to Child Labor

N/A  (48)

No (8) 

Refresher Courses Provided

No (48)

No (8) 

Number of Labor Inspections Conducted

312 (48)

283‡ (8)  

 

Number Conducted at Worksite

312 (48)

Unknown (8) 

Number of Child Labor Violations Found

0 (48)

Unknown (8) 

 

Number of Child Labor Violations for Which Penalties Were Imposed

N/A

Unknown (8) 

Number of Child Labor Penalties Imposed that Were Collected

N/A

Unknown (8) 

Routine Inspections Conducted

Yes (48)

Unknown (8) 

 

Routine Inspections Targeted

No (48)

Unknown (8) 

Unannounced Inspections Permitted

Yes (48)

Yes (8) 

 

Unannounced Inspections Conducted

Unknown (48)

Unknown (8) 

Complaint Mechanism Exists

Yes (48)

Yes (8) 

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services

Yes (48)

Yes (8) 

‡ Data are from January 1, 2018 to November 30, 2018.

The number of labor inspectors is likely insufficient for the size of Ghana’s workforce, which includes almost 12 million workers. (76) According to the ILO’s technical advice of a ratio approaching 1 inspector for every 15,000 workers in industrializing economies, Ghana would employ about 833 inspectors. (76,77) Inadequate resources, including funding, transportation, office space, and office supplies, hamper the labor inspectorate’s capacity to enforce child labor laws, particularly in the informal sector in which child labor is most common. (8,24,63,48)  Formal referral mechanisms continued to be hindered by lack of shelter space and transportation for victims. The government did not provide data on the number of child labor violations identified. (48) 

Criminal Law Enforcement
In 2018, criminal law enforcement agencies in Ghana took actions to combat child labor (Table 7). However, gaps exist within the operations of the criminal law enforcement agencies that may hinder adequate criminal law enforcement, including financial resource allocation and training for criminal investigators.


Table 7. Criminal Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Criminal Law Enforcement

2017

2018

Initial Training for New Criminal Investigators

Yes (39,67)

Yes (8) 

 

Training on New Laws Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor

N/A

N/A (8) 

Refresher Courses Provided

Yes (67,78)

Yes (8) 

Number of Investigations

196 (69)

48 (8) 

Number of Violations Found

217 (69)

229 (64) 

Number of Prosecutions Initiated

14 (79-81)

14 (8) 

Number of Convictions

5 (48,79,80)

14 (64) 

Imposed Penalties for Violations Related to The Worst Forms of Child Labor

Unknown

Yes (8)  

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services

Yes (48)

Yes (8) 

During the reporting period, 64 police and immigration officials received training on child labor as part of a trafficking-in-persons training. (8) Additionally, during the reporting period the Central Regional Police Command organized a sensitization for school children in Cape Coast to raise awareness of child trafficking. (21) 

Members of parliament have attempted to discourage investigations or prosecutions of child trafficking offenses, and high staff turnover limits the government’s ability to investigate and prosecute these offenses. (39,63,48,67,69,82) In December 2018, the government in conjunction with an NGO partner rescued 42 child victims of trafficking who were engaged in exploitative labor on Lake Volta. The traffickers were identified as political party officials. They sought the assistance of a member of parliament who threatened to shut down the NGO's office. (41,42,83) The case is currently pending in court. (42) 

According to the GPS, in 2018, nine child labor trafficking cases were prosecuted.  As a result of these prosecutions, 14 defendants were convicted of violating the Children's Act of 1998 by engaging a child in exploitative and hazardous work. (64) Convicted individuals were required to pay a fine of approximately $309 and sign a statement committing to good behavior. (8) All victims received support including shelter, medical attention, nutrition, and counseling from either government or NGO providers. (8) During the reporting period, the Accra Circuit Court sentenced a woman to 5 years in prison under the Human Trafficking Act for her involvement in selling a 14-year-old boy for $20. (84,85) Additionally, in 2018, the courts convicted 3 other individuals on labor trafficking charges involving children in violation of the Human Trafficking Act. Two defendants were sentenced to 5 years of hard labor, and one defendant was sentenced to 7 years of hard labor. (42,86) 

Criminal law enforcement agencies continued to note that poor inter-agency coordination and insufficient resources for transportation and victim support resulted in under-reporting of cases and hampered enforcement efforts. (12,34,37,39,67,69) In addition, coordination among government officials on human trafficking issues was uneven across the country. The government relies heavily on NGOs to identify cases of child trafficking, and cooperation improved during the year. (67,75,82) In October and November 2018, five Ghanaian law enforcement officials participated in a week-long training on combating human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children held at the U.S.-sponsored International Law Enforcement Academy in Botswana. During the reporting period, authorities identified 22 children who had been transported for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. (42)

The government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor (Table 8).


Table 8. Key Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor

Coordinating Body

Role & Description

National Steering Committee on Child Labor

Coordinates government efforts to combat the worst forms of child labor, and oversee implementation of the National Plan of Action Phase II on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor (NPA2), which includes implementation of the GCLMS. (48,67,87,88) Led by the MELR’s Child Labor Unit (CLU) and includes representatives from other ministries, employers’ and workers’ organizations, and civil society. (1,48,87,89,90) In 2018, the Committee held two meetings, and convened a national two-day forum in September to review the GCLMS. (8,91) From August to September 2018 traveled to four districts to conduct monitoring visits of the implementation of child labor projects. (92) 

Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Human Trafficking

Aims to prevent Ghanaian migrants from becoming victims of human trafficking. (69) Comprising MELR, MOGCSP, Ministry of Justice, and MOI. In October 2018, committed to using the Trafficking in Persons Information System to improve case tracking. (8)

MELR’s Child Labor Unit (CLU)

Facilitates the development of policies and laws to combat child labor, coordinates interventions to combat child labor, and oversees child protection committees at the district level. (3,23,24,63,74,87) Provides technical support to ministries, departments and agencies, employers’ and workers’ organizations, and international agencies such as ILO, IOM, and UNICEF. (1,48) In 2018, allocated $107,000 to carry out its work and conducted child labor monitoring exercises in 4 cocoa districts. (8)

The government has established policies related to child labor (Table 9). However, policy gaps exist that hinder efforts to address child labor, including mainstreaming child labor issues into relevant policies.


Table 9. Key Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

National Plan of Action Phase II on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor (NPA2) (2017–2020)†

Aims to address gaps identified in the first NPA (2009–2015), improve coordination, and reduce the worst forms of child labor to 10 percent by 2021, with a focus on the fishing, mining, and cocoa sectors. (11,49,88,89) Approved by the Cabinet in February 2018 and launched in May 2018. Will review GCLMS and the development of protocols and guidelines to declare child labor-free zones; expected to be finalized in 2019. (8,62) Activities include providing school uniforms and supplies to needy students to motivate attendance, improving access of older children to apprenticeship opportunities, and improving enrollment of needy families in areas with high prevalence of child labor. (8)  

National Plan of Action for the Elimination of Human Trafficking in Ghana (NPA) (2017–2021)

Aims to improve data collection, enhance victim protection, increase accountability for perpetrators, and conduct prevention and outreach, including an expansion of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Program. (93) During 2018, the government printed and distributed awareness-raising materials, including posters and billboards, and organized community awareness-raising events. In addition, the government organized stakeholder meetings to track progress of NPA implementation and took preliminary steps to establish a shelter for child victims of trafficking. (42,49)   

Hazardous Child Labor Activity Frameworks

Includes the Hazardous Child Labor Activity Framework and the Hazardous Child Labor Activity Framework for the Cocoa Sector. Developed in consultation with workers’ and employers’ organizations, identify hazardous activities that should be prohibited for children. (53,59,94) In 2018, with approval of NPA2, both frameworks entered into force. (8,49)  

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

Joint Declaration by the Governments of Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and the United States, and the International Cocoa and Chocolate Industry. (95-97) Provides resources and coordinates with key stakeholders on efforts to reduce the worst forms of child labor in cocoa-producing areas. (95,96) Ensures that all project efforts implemented under the Declaration and Framework align with Ghana’s national action plans to promote coherence and sustainability. (95-97) USDOL-funded projects and some industry-funded projects carried out activities in support of this policy during the reporting period. (97) 

Bi-Lateral Commitments to Combat Cross-Border Trafficking

Joint declaration signed by the First Ladies of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to combat the worst forms of child labor and advocate for sub-regional cooperation with other First Ladies. (98) A subsequent cooperative agreement between the two governments further operationalizes the declaration, which targets high-risk sectors, provides protection to victims, improves coordination, and prosecutes offenders. (99,100) A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Jordan formalizes labor recruitment practices and provides for support and repatriation of Ghanaian victims of human trafficking in Jordan. (70) During the reporting period representatives from the government met with counterparts from Burkina Faso, Benin, and Togo to discuss coordinating efforts to combat cross-border crime including human trafficking. (101)  

Minerals and Mining Policy of Ghana

Prohibits child labor in mining and stipulates children who visit mining sites must be supervised. (102) In May 2018, district mining officers of the Minerals Commission participated in a workshop organized by ILO to build capacity in identification of child labor at mining sites, and the process for referring these children to social services. As a result of this workshop, a digital inter-ministerial child labor monitoring tool known as Galamstop was developed. (62) In August 2018, the Minerals Commission, CLU, and ILO made recommendations for the inclusion of provisions on child labor in a proposed amendment to the Minerals and Mining Policy. (62) 

Strategy on Anti-Child Labor and Trafficking in Fisheries†

Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development policy that aims to significantly reduce the incidence of child labor in fisheries by improving child protection systems and increasing prosecution of offenders. (103) 

† Policy was approved during the reporting period.
‡ The government had other policies that may have addressed child labor issues or had an impact on child labor. (37,104) 

In October 2018, the government participated in a workshop on the methodology of the 2018–2019 survey being conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago on the prevalence of child labor in cocoa-growing areas in Ghana. The survey fieldwork commenced in November 2018 and concluded in January 2019. (105) During the reporting period, the Cabinet approved NPA2, which aims to reduce the prevalence of the worst forms of child labor by establishing social policy and institutional capacity to eliminate and prevent all forms of child labor. (8,11) The National Migration Policy does not include child labor elimination and prevention strategies. (38,106)

In 2018, the government funded and participated in programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor (Table 10). However, gaps exist in these social programs, including funding and adequacy of programs to address the problem in all sectors.


Table 10. Key Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program

Description

USDOL-Funded Projects

USDOL projects that aim to eliminate child labor. These projects include:Adwuma Pa (2018–2022), $5 million project implemented by CARE;  Combating Forced Labor and Labor Trafficking of Adults and Children in Ghana (2017–2021), $2 million project implemented by Verité; Assessing Progress in Reducing Child Labor in Cocoa-Growing Areas of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana (2015–2019), $3 million project implemented by NORC at the University of Chicago; Mobilizing Community Action and Promoting Opportunities for Youth in Ghana’s Cocoa-Growing Communities (MOCA) (2015–2019), $4.5 million project implemented by Winrock International; CARING Gold Mining Project (ASGM), $5 million project implemented by ILO in Ghana and the Philippines; and the Global Action Program on Child Labor Issues (GAP), a research project implemented by ILO in 10 countries. Some projects may be in support of the 2010 Declaration to combat child labor in the cocoa sector.(107-110) Additional information is available on the USDOL website.

U.S. Government-Funded Projects

USG-funded projects aim to improve child protection measures in partnership with the host government. Includes Child Protection Compact Partnership (CPC) (2015–2020), $5 million USDOS-funded project implemented by IOM and local NGO Free the Slaves; Accelerating Care Reform (2016 –2020), $8 million USAID- project implemented by the DSW and UNICEF to strengthen the social welfare system; LEAP 1000 (2014 –2019), $12 million USAID-project implemented by UNICEF to strengthen the existing LEAP program and fund cash transfers to 6,200 poor households; Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (2014–2020), $24 million USAID-funded project implemented by CRC/URI which includes activities aimed at reducing child labor in the fishing sector which assisted the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development to develop a child labor and trafficking strategy that was launched in October 2018; the Complementary Basic Education Program, a $40 million joint contribution between USAID and the UK’s Department for International Development to support Ghana’s Ministry of Education’ efforts to educate and re-integrate out-of-school children into the basic school system; and the USAID-UNICEF $37 million jointly funded Learning Support program, which helps increase inclusive education services for special needs children in primary schools. (8,111-116) 

Industry-Funded Projects

Projects aim to increase sustainability in the cocoa sector, improve farmer livelihoods, improve access to education, and combat the worst forms of child labor in cocoa-growing areas. Some projects may be in support of the World Cocoa Foundation’s CocoaAction (2014–2020) initiative and the spirit of the 2010 Declaration.(97,117,118) During the reporting period, the government engaged with international partners by conducting child labor surveys in cocoa-growing communities. (8) 

Awareness Raising Activities†

Large-scale events by MOGCSP, AHTU, MOI, and MELR to raise awareness of child trafficking issues through radio and television broadcasts, public events, and community activities. (42,69,119) In 2018, the government printed and distributed 1,000 copies of the NPA, and 4,000 flyers and 2,000 posters intended to raise awareness of human trafficking issues, including child trafficking. (42)  

Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP)†

MOGCSP-administered conditional cash transfer program that provides monetary support to poor households with orphans and vulnerable children on the condition that these children attend school, receive vaccinations, and regularly visit health care facilities. (24,120-122) Serves over 213,000 households throughout the country. (122) During the reporting period, members of the LEAP unit trained senior officials in Ghana's metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies (MMDAs) in all but the Volta and Eastern Regions on human trafficking and child labor trends, Ghana's efforts to address the issues, and the role MMDAs can play to address trafficking. (42)  

Educational Programs†

The Ghana Cocoa Board’s Child Education Support Program rehabilitates and builds schools in cocoa-growing areas. (123,124) Ministry of Education-funded programs under the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education aim to increase school attendance and enrollment. (104,124) Include MOGCSP’s Ghana School Feeding Program, which aims to reduce malnutrition and improve attendance among students; the Capitation Grant Scheme, which helps defray the cost of basic education for students in public primary schools; and the Ghana Education Service—Girls’ Education Unit, which places girls’ education officers at the regional and district levels and mobilizes communities to enroll more girls in school. (1,121,122,125,126) The Ghana Education Service program includes the distribution of 400,000–500,000 free school uniforms and exercise books to districts with poor enrollment rates. (121,126,127) In 2018, MOGCSP-run Ghana School Feeding Program provided meals to nearly 2 million school children daily. (128) During the reporting period, the government, in conjunction with WFP and MasterCard Foundation, conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the school feeding program, which determined that by investing $356 in feeding 1 student over an 8-year period, $1,173 could be generated. (129)  

MOGCSP Programs†

Include programs to support vulnerable children. Program to Assist Kayayei provides rehabilitation and reintegration support; "Get Off the Street" program aims to remove children from the street and reintegrate them into family and educational settings; Human Trafficking Fund provides financial support to victims. (69,72) During the reporting period, "Get Off the Street" program rescued 78 children in Accra, placing children in vocational training and providing psychiatric treatment to children found to be heavy drug users. (64)  

m-Birth

Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development program, supported by UNICEF and Tigo, to transition from a manual birth registration process to automated birth registration. (130,131) Between 2016 and 2018, 926,405 births were registered using m-Birth. In 2018, UNICEF and the government evaluated the m-Birth initiative and found that since 2014, over 87 percent of registered births were attributed to m-Birth in the target region. (132) During the reporting period, the government used lessons learned from m-Birth to begin the development of more sophisticated birth registration software. (132)  

† Program is funded by the Government of Ghana.
‡ The government had other social programs that may have included the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor. (67,125,133,134) 

The Child Labor Unit, the GPS’s Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and local NGOs cite the lack of funding as one of the primary obstacles in implementing programs to address child labor. (48,69,135) In addition, government-run shelters for abused children are poorly managed and did not receive sufficient funding during the reporting period. (3,39,67,135) In 2018, the government spent approximately $43,000 to refurbish the Madina shelter for child victims of trafficking which was not yet operational by the end of the reporting period. (8,136)  

Although the government has worked closely with industry, NGOs, and international organizations to implement child labor programs in cocoa, fishing, and mining, the magnitude of these programs remains insufficient to address the scope of the problem. (58)

Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor in Ghana (Table 11).


Table 11. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

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

2013 – 2018

Ensure that laws criminally prohibit all forms of commercial sexual exploitation of children, including by prohibiting the use of a child in pornographic performances.

2009 – 2018

Ensure that laws criminally prohibit the use of children in all illicit activities, including for the production and trafficking of drugs.

2016 – 2018

Ensure that the law criminally prohibits the recruitment of children under age 18 by non-state armed groups.

2015 – 2018

Enforcement

Ensure that prosecutors who have received sufficient legal training oversee and lead the prosecution of cases involving the worst forms of child labor, that government officials do not intervene in criminal investigations, and that these cases are prosecuted according to the law.

2015 – 2018

Publish information on the amount of funding allocated to the labor inspectorate and ensure inspectorates have adequate resources, including office space, transportation, and supplies to adequately carry out their mandate throughout the country.

2009 – 2018

Strengthen the labor inspectorate by ensuring inspectors conduct targeted routine and unannounced inspections and are authorized to assess penalties for labor violations.

2014 – 2018

Ensure that labor inspectors receive periodic refresher training.

2013 – 2018

Increase the number of labor inspectors to meet the ILO’s technical advice.

2010 – 2018

Establish a mechanism to track cases of child labor for referral to law enforcement or social services providers.

2014 – 2018

Ensure that criminal enforcement agencies coordinate adequately and receive adequate resources for transportation and victim support.

2015 – 2018

Government Policies

Integrate child labor elimination and prevention strategies into existing policies.

2013 – 2018

Social Programs

Improve access to education by eliminating school-related fees, increasing the number of classrooms, improving access to schools, providing sanitation facilities, and prohibiting sexual harassment in schools.

2010 – 2018

Ensure that social programs receive sufficient funding to carry out their objectives.

2014 – 2018

Expand the availability of government-supported shelter services for child victims.

2016 – 2018

Create, replicate, and expand effective models for addressing exploitative child labor in the cocoa sector.

2009 – 2018

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  2. UN Human Rights Council. Report of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises: 2014. A/HRC/26/25/Add.5. May 6, 2014.
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  3. UN Human Rights Council. Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, Gulnara Shahinian. A/HRC/27/53/Add.3. October 1, 2014.
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  6. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary education, both sexes (%). Accessed March 16, 2019. For more information, please see "Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions" in the Reference Materials section of this report.
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