Challenging Heights Urges Government to Strengthen Child Protection Mechanisms on World Day Against Child Labour 2024!


Challenging Heights in collaboration with three NGO partners in Northern Ghana (RAINS, CALID and CCEYD), organised a durbar to commemorate the 2024 World Day Against Child Labour. The event which took place on Tuesday 11th June, 2024 in Tamale, was chaired by the revered Choggu Naa, under the theme, “Let's Act on Our Commitments; End Child Labour”, which is also the theme for the observation of the day globally.

In attendance were key stakeholders from National, Regional, and District levels. Also, religious and political leaders, Community Child Protection Committee (CCPC) members, teachers, students, youth and women groups, parents and community members were present.

Mr. Enock Dery Pufaa, Programs Director of Challenging Heights in his address noted that although Ghana has made commendable strides in the fight against Child Labour, it remains a pervasive social problem. He made reference to the 2021 Population and Housing Census report which estimates that approximately 230,000 children, or 3.2% of those aged 5-14 years, are involved in economic activities, while research evidence available shows that there are two million children (5-17 years) engaged in child labour activities, with the situation being more prevalent in rural areas.

Mr. Pufaa observed that “Ghana’s problem is not the absence of laws, policies and frameworks to eliminate child labour. The problem has to do with enforcing the provisions of the policies and laws and that is why this year's theme is very relevant, reiterating the need to act beyond the commitments”. He urged the government of Ghana to strengthen its social protection systems and intensify its poverty alleviation efforts. He stated that children are less likely to be forced into child labour due to due to basic needs deprivation if government improve employment opportunities and income-generation capacities of families. “With 60% of out-of-school children in Ghana engaged in child labour, initiatives to enhance schooling are crucial to ending child labour. He added.  He further reaffirmed Challenging Heights’ commitment to the fight against child and urged all stakeholders and partners to give them the necessary support.

The Head of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service, DSP William Ayaregah, in his remarks drew the attention of participants to the laws on Child Protection in Ghana and the need for all to comply. Mr. Ayaregah urged stakeholders to perform their mandated roles in the eradication of child labour and child trafficking. He stated that “the government’s role in establishing policies, laws, and funding for anti-trafficking measures is essential. Doing so provides the basic legislative framework for which protection of children and punishment for offenders can occur”.  He further noted that Police personnel are integral in the fight against child labour, through enforcing the laws and regulations put forth by the Ghanian government.  Mr. Ayaregah commented on the role of community members who he said must report suspected child labour and trafficking activities, as well as educating their children and others about the dangers of child labour and child trafficking. He added that “protecting the rights of children does not only have the benefit of fostering their holistic growth and development, but also a long-term benefit of a securing a better future.”

The Acting Director of the Northern Region Labour Office, Mr Mustapha Alhassan, who represented the Director of the Child Labour Unit of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Madam Esther Ofori Agyeman, expressed worry about the prevalence Child Labour in Northern Ghana. He indicated that the prevalence rate of Child Labour in Northern Ghana is four times the rate in Southern Ghana. This he believes should translate into efforts by stakeholders to channel a lot of energy towards the fight against child labour in Northern Ghana. Mr. Alhassan also made an appeal to government to resource agencies like Social Welfare, the Labour Office, CHRAJ, NCCE, among others, who work directly to combat Child Labour. He used the opportunity to explain the concept of child labour as provided in the Children’s Act and other policies and documents.

The Chairman for the event, His Royal Highness the Choggu Naa assured all stakeholders of his support at all times. As a revered Chief, he believes his influence should be useful to garner a lot of support for the fight against Child Labour and promotion of education. He used the platform to call on all and sundry to contribute their quota to keep children in school and help protect their rights.

Members of the Challenging Height’s Child Rights Club used drama and poetry recital to depict and educate the participates on the issues of child labour, illustrating the intersectionality of poverty, parental neglect and child labour.