Mr. Gene A. Crete, the United States (US)Ambassador in Ghana, has urged the Media to help in the fight against child labour.
Mr. Crete was addressing the media practitioners after a day’s working visit to Kojokrom, a farming community in the Asunafo North District of the Brong-Ahafo Region.
He was accompanied by Mr. Christopher Thornley, the Canadian High Commissioner in Ghana, and Mr Gordon Chakaodza, Australian Trade Commissioner.
They interacted with residents who are predominantly cocoa farmers, and urged them to ensure that children in the area are not subjected to hazardous activities on cocoa farms.
Mr. Crete announced that the International Justice Mission Office in Ghana had launched a five-year Innovative Project, aimed at combating child trafficking in Ghana.
The programme, involving five million dollars contemplates developing jointly with Ghana a multi-year plan to implement new and more effective policies and programmes, to reduce child trafficking and improve child protection.
Mr Crete said Ghana was being considered as the first country to partner in a Child Protection Compact Partnership (CPC Partnership), aimed at bolstering the current efforts of the Ghana Government, and civil society organizations, to address child trafficking and forced child labour in the country.
He expressed optimism that the programme would focus on eliminating forced child labour in both fishing and farming communities.
He said the fight against modern slavery among children should be the priority of all, and observed that Ghanaian children were subjected to forced labour in fishing, domestic service, street hawking, begging, mining and agricultural sectors.
Mr. Crete expressed happiness after touring some of the cocoa farms in the community to learn some of the processes of cocoa production before reaching the market.
He told the Media after the tour that the cocoa industry was very important to Ghana’s development; hence they were in to find out about challenges being encountered by farmers in the production of cocoa.
The farmers expressed concern about the bad nature of the access roads in the area, and appealed to government to put them in good shape.
They also pleaded with government and individual philanthropists to assist the community with boreholes, for them to get good drinking water, because the only borehole in the community is serving about a thousand inhabitants.