Reports about child slavery in cocoa sector is false
Kumasi, May 11, Ghanadot/GNA
– The Deputy Minister for Employment and Social Welfare, Mr
Antwi Bosiako Sekyere, said on Monday that reports about
engagement of children in slavery-like practices in the cocoa
sector are untrue.
He said findings of an Independent Verification Team
Commissioned by the International Cocoa Verification Board (ICVB)
as well as findings of the surveys conducted by the government
have confirmed that.
The Deputy Minister said this at the launch of a three-day
workshop by the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare to
eliminate the worst forms of child labour in cocoa growing
The programme is the third out of the five scheduled for the
year and attracted participants from Central, Eastern and Volta
Mr. Sekyere said according to the research, 90 percent of
Ghanaian children in cocoa growing areas are living with their
parents whereas 9.7 percent live with other relatives.
It also came out that 76 percent of the sampled population are
aware of the effects of child labour on children.
“However, it is worrying to know that over 50 percent of
children in cocoa growing communities engage in at least one
hazardous activity which does not auger well for their health
and education”, he said.
He said the ministry had designed a framework within which
children would be made to work to promote occupational safety
and health measures according to their age.
Mr Sekyere said the ministry is also developing communication
strategies and messages from the Hazardous Activity Framework to
facilitate awareness creation and sensitization of farmers and
He said remedial actions had been implemented in 11 districts
and 110 communities, adding that currently more than 1,200
children are being provided with support to pursue formal
education and vocational skills.
As a result of the progress in the 11 districts, the programme
has been extended to 36 more districts, Mr. Sekyere added and
urged all the Municipal and District assemblies to implement and
monitor the programme.
Mrs. Rita Owusu-Amankwa, Programme Manager, National Programme
to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Cocoa (NPECLC),
said the programme, which started in 2006, is to bring about
change in attitudes and behaviours as well as promote an
integrated approach to child development at the district and
Mr. Samuel Edmund Bisiw, Regional Manager of the Quality Control
Division of COCOBOD, said Ghana would not attain its target of
one million tonnes of cocoa by 2009 if children are exploited
but only through good husbandry practices.
He said child labour is not only found on cocoa farms but in
quarrying, fishing and mining and called on all stakeholders to
join hands to fight the menace.