The Gender/International Affairs Unit of the Minerals Commission has held a sensitisation programme for key stakeholders in some mining communities in the Central Region to aid in eliminating child labour.
The event, held at Afiefiso in the Upper Denkyira West Assembly, was on the theme: “Eliminating Child Labour in the Mining Communities.”
Mr Richmond Kodua, the District Chief Executive, urged parents to refrain from engaging their children in hazardous activities at mining sites.
He said the Assembly’s bye-laws clearly prohibited children below 15 years from being exposed to economic activities and warned that any parent or guardian who flouted the law would be dealt with.
Mr Joseph Torwoe, the District Health Officer, explained the hazardous dangers illegal mining posed to the health of inhabitants, particularly children, and urged participants to support government to curb 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 by enrolling them in school instead of giving them away for illegal mining activities.
The Chief of Afiefiso, Nana Krobea Asante, lamented how some teachers in the community engaged school children in hazardous activities and asked the District Director of Education to take punitive measures against such teachers to serve as a deterrent.
Ms Monalynn Anokye-Bempah, the Head of Gender and International Affairs Unit of the Minerals Commission, said the sensitisation and awareness creation exercise were to step up efforts at strengthening the capacity of mining communities to eliminate child labour.
She said child labour was unlawful in mining sites and Ghana, being a signatory to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention, was required to lead the fight in curbing the practice.
Ms Anokye-Bempah, on behalf of the Commission, donated educational materials comprising exercise books, mathematical sets, school bags, pens and pencils, and some sanitary pads to the Afiefiso Anglican Basic School.