We must establish proper social protection systems for children – Bright Appiah

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Bright Appiah

Executive Director of Child Rights International, Bright Appiah, has called for an effective social protection system that guarantees the welfare of children in the country.

He said the social protection system must aim to prevent children from engaging in hard labour.

Mr. Appiah said this in an interview with Benjamin Akakpo on the AM Show on Tuesday.

The discussion was held at a time when fresh data from the 2021 Population and Housing Census indicates that a total of 229,628 children between the ages of 5 and 14 are engaged in different forms of economic activities in Ghana.

JoyNews’ investigations have also uncovered how children are trafficked for a sum of GH¢1,000 to work on cocoa farms at Elluokrom in the Western North region and other parts of the country.

On the back of these, Bright Appiah has urged stakeholders to urgently consider different ways of handling issues relating to children.

“It is for us, as a state, to be able to come back to look at how best we can also shape some of these things so that we can reduce the number of children involved in economic activities.”

“The figure should give the state a sense that if you have a majority of your children involved in economic activities, though we expect them to be in school, then it’s time to reason that we need to give a different approach in terms of how we want to handle issues that relate to our children.”

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“There’s a whole lot of social protection systems that we need to establish, so that when we are rolling it out, we’d do it in such a way that it’s very systematic and it follows a certain social protection safety net,” he said.

The child rights activist acknowledged that although steps are being taken to rescue some children involved in trafficking and hard labour, more emphasis should be laid on the sustainability programme being implemented in the cocoa sector.

“They should not even be there at all. That is why it is important that we look the dynamics that exist and the kind of system that we can provide,” he urged.

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