The Gender and International Affairs Unit of Minerals Commission has held a sensitisation and awareness creation programme on the theme “Eliminating child labour in the mining communities” in Afiefiso in the Upper Denkyira West Assembly.
In his address, Mr Richmond Kodua, the District Chief Executive Officer urged parents to desist from engaging in hazardous activities at mining sites. He emphasised that the bye-laws of the assembly clearly stated that children below fifteen years should not be exposed to economic activities.
Mr Kodua warned that, parents and guardians who flouted the bye-laws on child labour would be dealt with accordingly.
Mr Joseph Torwoe, the District Health Officer, reiterated the hazardous dangers illegal mining posed to the health of inhabitants particularly children in the community and urged participants to support Government’s efforts at curbing the menace.
The District Director of Education, Mrs Betty Smith, elaborated on the importance of education and urged parents and guardians to protect their children of school going age away from the galamsey sites.
On his part, the Chief of Afiefiso, Nana Krobea Asante, lamented on how some of the teachers in the community also engage the school children in the galamsey activities.
He asked the District Director of Education to take punitive measures on such teachers to curb child labor at the galamsey sites.
In her presentation, Ms Monalynn Anokye-Bempah, Head of Gender and International Affairs Unit of the Minerals Commission, noted that the sensitisation and awareness creation exercise was aimed at stepping up efforts and strengthening capacity at mining communities to eliminate child labour in mining.
She emphasised that child labour was out-lawed in mining sites and Ghana being a signatory to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention required that we lead the fight in curbing that practice.
Ms Anokye-Bempah, on behalf of the Minerals Commission donated quantities of educational materials including exercise books, mathematical sets, school bags, pens, pencils and sanitary pads to the Afiefiso Anglican basic school.
SOURCE: Nii Otu Dadeban Ankrah