Stop Child Labour

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Ghana - General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU)

The General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) is an affiliate of the Trades Union Congress-Ghana and the biggest trade union organizing farmers and agricultural employees in Ghana.

Hivos Item

GAWU has evidence to prove that even though poverty contributes to child labour, it is child labour that perpetuates poverty. The poverty of adults who are denied decent work and the poverty of the children whose mental, intellectual, psychological, social and physical growth has suffered as a result of child labour is, in most cases, not addressed. Thus the child’s earning makes an insignificant contribution to parents’ livelihood or that of a  family, and contributes to stifling societal growth.

Why Ghanaian children work
Various experiences show that existing social norms, lack of workers’ and other human rights, harmful traditional practices, non-involvement of important stakeholders, weak sanction systems for perpetuators of child labour, exclusion, marginalization and discrimination of certain groups, and badly or indifferently functioning educational system are some of the most important reasons why children in Ghanaian communities are working and not attending school.

Integrated approaches
Interventions addressing child labour have been fragmented, segmented, lacking in geographical focus, involving different stakeholders that have often failed to cooperate and collaborate. The child labour menace has persisted in spite of the articulated commitment to combat it. GAWU, having picked lessons from MVFoundation and other partners of Stop Child Labour, is therefore seeking update and to use an integrated focused approach involving all stakeholders to establish institutions, systems and processes at all levels that are driven by a definite commitment to every child’s dream of accessing compulsory free basic education, while adults access more and more decent work.

Child Labour Free Zones
GAWU, through FNV Mondiaal, joined Stop Child Labour and is currently implementing a three year project in 30 communities, 4 districts and 3 Regions in Ghana. This will cover a total of 2,400 children and 1,000 parents. Currently GAWU focuses on community mobilization and awareness raising activities in order to involve the communities and authorities in the project.

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