Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this very important Statement, ably made by the Vice Chairman of the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises.
In doing so, Mr Speaker, child labour in all forms must be of prime concern to all of us, particularly when the ILO's statistics show that there are about 152 million child labourers between the ages of 5 and 14 years, worldwide.
Again, the ILO proceeds that, most of these children belong to the most marginalised groups in the society, and come from families living in poverty.
Mr Speaker, in Ghana, child labour is a major issue. Its prevalence is mostly found in the areas of agriculture, mining and fishing. It is estimated that, over one million children between the ages of 5 and 17 are engaged in child labour. And this poses a threat to our future workforce as a nation.
Mr Speaker, this calls for social interventions in tackling child labour in Ghana, and one area that we must consider is through education. It is significant to note, Mr Speaker, that the duo-social interventions of capitation grants and Ghana's School Feeding Programme introduced by the Kuffour's Government were a way to reduce poverty, improve school enrollment and therefore reduce or eliminate child labour in Ghana.
However, Mr Speaker, both inter- ventions are on their knees today, quite pathetic. As a way forward, we need to strengthen our efforts in eliminating child labour at the local level. I would recommend that Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and CBOs must be resourced to be actively involved in advocacy roles against child labour.
Mr Speaker, in concluding, the World Cup begins in Brazil today, and as it is done in the field of football, let us encourage everyone to show a “red card” to all those who exploit children.
Thank you very much for the opportunity, Mr Speaker.