The General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) of the Trades Union Congress has appealed to community leaders, teachers, parents, guardians and traditional rulers to support the nation in its child-labour free campaign.
Mr Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe, the Deputy General Secretary of the Union made the appeal in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a child-labour free advocacy and sensitisation durbar on Friday at the Roman Catholic Basic School, Adantia, a farming community near Odomase in the Sunyani West Municipality.
It was part of a two-day tour of eight cocoa growing communities in the Municipality to educate residents on the need to contribute for the communities-Odomase, Adantia, Kwatire, Abronye, Pepewase, Kofiekrom, Bofokrom and Asuofiri to become child-labour free zones.
He said the exploitation of children of school-going age to engage in any type of hazardous work instead of taking them to school "is child labour and legally prohibited.
"It's unlawful for parents or guardians to take advantage of their children and wards below 17 years by using them to work in cocoa farms at the expense of their education", Mr. Tagoe stressed.
He urged the society generally, government officials, religious and opinion leaders to encourage parents, particularly those in the cocoa growing areas to support their children by making schooling attractive to them to help eliminate child labour menace.
The Union presented boxes of biscuits, bottles of mineral water, stationeries, assorted soft drinks sets of jerseys with 'Stop Child Labour' inscriptions, foot and net balls and captains arm bands to promote sports and games to make schooling attractive to the children.
Similar presentations were made to the pupils of the schools in the other seven communities.
Madam Dorcas Owusuaa, the project Coordinator of "Decent Work in Cocoa Supply Chain" of GAWU, a partnership between GAWU and FNV, a Netherlands Trade Union to ensure total elimination of child labour by ensuring that children of school going-age were attracted to school and its activities said "sports is one of the vital and essential activity that draws people together with much concentration".
The presentation of the items was thus to catch the eyes of the children to develop higher and sustainable interest for school.
In an earlier interview, Mr. Alex Appau, the physical education teacher at Kwatire M/A basic school, commended GAWU for the campaign, saying it would contribute to improve on the academic performance of the pupils.