On the occasion of the World Day against Child Labour, the Safe-Child Advocacy of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi, Ghana, organized a webinar entitled: “Understanding the impact of Child Labour on society”.
Mr Samuel Zan Akologo, campaign manager for Africa Inclusive Economic Recovery (Caritas Africa, JENA & SECAM) and Former Executive Secretary for Caritas Ghana, took part as a speaker in the webinar, focusing on “Ending the Exploitation of Children: Strategies for the future”.
In his presentation, he identified three main contexts within which child exploitation occurs: aberrations in normal socio-cultural settings, criminal exploitation and gangs, and humanitarian crises. Each of these contexts requires an ad hoc strategy. Meanwhile, to be effective, strategies need to be “embedded in community life”, as well as “enabled by top-level overarching policies”, he stressed.
Mr Akologo also remarked how “poverty remains one of the drivers of child labour in our society today”, and for this reason “addressing poverty of parents can be helpful to minimize child labour”.
Finally, he mentioned the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ call for the protection of children online, and he pointed out that “families need education on how not to discourage their children from the benefits of online learning but instead find ways to monitor their children’s online activities.”
Sr. Franca Edet DC, Permanent Representative of Daughters of Charity NGO at the United Nations in Geneva and recently awarded the Benemerenti Medal by Pope Francis for her services to those in need and to the Catholic Church, also participated in the webinar.
She brought her experience and the UN mechanism in the fight against child labour into the debate. Particularly, she presented data highlighting the high cost of using children for cheap labour and showing how "the benefits of eliminating child labour will far outweigh the costs”.
Sr. Edet also noted that “the corporate compliance and auditing programmes largely fail to help child labour victims, because they often don’t go past the first tier of suppliers.” Sr. Edet concluded with the Sustainable Development Goals, whose objectives involve all in a transversal way the issue of child labour and, if addressed, could make improvements in the lives of many children, and thus concretely counteract child labour.
The Safe-Child Advocacy of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi is committed to foster a society where children enjoy a safe childhood and develop their potentials to the fullest through collaboration and advocacy, but also by providing opportunities for reintegration, formal education, and enterprise development for children in street.