Pushing towards sustainability; the way forward after child protection interventions.
The World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) is a day that has been marked by stakeholders in the Child Protection sector on June 12th, since it was launched by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2002. The day serves as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour and the promotion of child protection. The national theme which was adopted by stakeholders in Ghana for this year’s celebration is ‘Resist Child Labour! Improve the Safety and Health of Young Workers towards achieving SDG goal 8’. The theme aims to accelerate action to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets 8.7 and 8.8 by working to end all forms of child labour by 2025. Stakeholders from the media, civil society, social partners, NGOs, World Cocoa Foundation and industry partners came together at the Child Labour elimination Sustainability Dialogue in Accra to facilitate this.
The activity was a collaboration between the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) and ICI in commemoration of this year’s WDACL and was held on 6th June. The purpose of the dialogue was to discuss the sustainability of child labour interventions in the country. The general agreement reached by stakeholders in the sector is the fact that achieving the SDG targets 8.7 and 8.8 requires a concerted and integrated approach towards eliminating child labour, promoting a culture of prevention and occupational safety and health (OSH) and coming out with sustainable measures to build on the progress made.
By the end of the interaction, stakeholders looked at four key areas which when sustained, could aid in the child labour elimination process. These were education, income generating activities, adult labour and child protection. They came out with ways through which these areas can be enhanced.
Some of the key outputs which came out of the dialogue were:
- The drive for sustainability of child labour interventions in Ghana must be led by the government, which in turn, will be followed by other stakeholders.
- All stakeholders must be involved in the discussion on sustainability of child protection interventions because it is a cross-sectoral issue.
- The issue of sustainability must be planned in such a way that communities and local assemblies can maintain the established structures for eliminating child labour and promoting child protection with no or little donor assistance.
- High involvement of beneficiaries in child labour interventions is key towards the promotion of ownership and the willingness to sustain the progress made by project beneficiaries.