Ghana begins review of Child Labour Monitoring System to make it more functional

Children are said to be the most important asset of their country, however, improper understanding of some parents and poverty making them the reason for the weakness of the country instead of being the power of the country.

Sadly most of the children under poverty line are forced to do all sorts of work which impede their daily growth and development even after the lots of awareness program run by the government, development partners, local and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to educate parents on welfare of the child.

Protecting children from engaging in child labour is the responsibility of each and every citizen living in the country. Child labour is the socio-economic issue which has been with us from ages and now need to be solved holistically.

Given the critical role Child Labour Monitoring System (CLMS) plays in the mix of child labour interventions; and possible administrative and technical inconsistencies which have arisen from implementing a dual model CLMS in one country, it was critically important to harmonize and reconcile Integrated Child Labour Monitoring System (I-CLMS) to standardize the operation of child labour monitoring in a coordinated manner that ensure inclusiveness and a holistic approach to tackle the child labour problem in all sectors

For this reason, in 2010, Ghana instituted the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System (GCLMS) as a means of monitoring child labour issues in the country.

The final pilot report on the GCLMS which was piloted by government in 25 communities in Six (6) districts out of the 254 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in Ghana under the National Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour in Cocoa (NPECLC) identified some challenges and made some recommendations for a review to include the tools and the processes which will make the revised GCLMS an all-inclusive system.

Due to the recommendations made in the GCLMS pilot report and other unrelenting efforts being put in motion by the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), development partners, local and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to eliminate all forms of child labour in the country, the Child Labour unit under the MELR and sector players have begun reviewing the GCLMS.

The review process begun with a two-day national forum held in Accra, the capital of Ghana brought together all key sector players to review the GCLMS to improve child welfare and protection services across the country.

The forum will thus elicit inputs from representatives of ministries, departments and agencies, the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), the Ghana Employers Association, civil society organisations, UNICEF and the International Labour Organisation to enhance the system.

The two-day national forum was followed by a four-day Technical Committee forum held in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital to incorporate all the changes and addition that were suggested by industry players at the national forum.

After the Technical Committee forum held in Koforidua, the next stage of the review process was the second National forum to validate reviewed system, and re-designing of system to ensure the revise GCLMS is robust effective platform which embraces all stakeholders but the process is currently on ice.

My interactions with some major players in the sector points to one direction, which is the basic expectations of each and every one I spoke to is of the hope that the review will inject a high level of efficiency into the GCLMS and improve its functionality to ensure its full utilisation- by all stakeholders.

Again they expect that the system will be able to identify vulnerable children, children at risk and those engaged in all forms of child labour and refer them for available interventions and services within the shortest possible of time.

They believe the review will also foster the adoption of new strategies to cure the incoherence in the approach to addressing the problem of child labour across the country, making it less difficult for Ghana to report on its efforts in the fight against child labour at the national level.

Delay of the GCLMS review process worrisome

The review of the GCLMS which was supposed to have been completed by the end of 2018 is yet to cross the third state of seven stages the process needs to go through and this should be a matter concern to many sector players.

Currently the ministry in-change of the review process is left with the following stages to go through to bring finality to the process are: National forum to validate reviewed system, Re-designing of system (online system) and review of questionnaire, Pre-test of reviewed system and Report, Dissemination and Implementation.




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