The Asante-Akim North Municipal office of the Social Welfare Department (SWD), is taking steps to clamp down on children who engage in illegal mining activities which is fast gaining grounds in the area.
It is also liaising with the Ghana Education Service (GES) to put these children and other children who abandon classes to sell on market days, back to school.
Mr. William Ansah Kwakye, the Municipal Director of SWD, told the Ghana News Agency that as an initial step, his office has started a public sensitization programme on local radio stations, to educate citizens on the dangers of allowing their children to be engaged in illegal mining.
This will be followed by random visits to the mining sites with the police, to rescue children and arrest adults who lure them into the trade by offering small monies to run errands for them.
He said children could be seen loitering around various mining sites where dangerous chemicals were used in extracting the mineral with little, or in some cases no supervision.
“Even more dangerous to the lives of the little ones are the abandoned pits scattered all over the place,” he added.
He said these children together with the little ones not yet in school were taken to the mining sites by their mothers, to be exposed to danger, and must be protected.
The SWD Director stated that the involvement of children in mining constituted child labour violations, as stated in the Children’s Act.
Mr. Kwakye said education of the children must not be sacrificed for any reason, and admonished adults at such mining sites not to engage the services of children in their operations.
He disclosed that the exercise would be extended to the Konongo Market on Tuesdays to arrest children hawking, and put them back to school.
source : www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/07/02/social-welfare-department-to-address-child-labour-in-mining/