The Challenges and Prospects of Eliminating Child Labour in Ghana’s Cocoa Sector: The Case of Asunafo South District

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The incidence of child labour in Ghana’s cocoa sector and its consequences have become a focus for attention in the international and local media since 2001. Consequently, the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare (MESW) launched the National Programme for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Cocoa production(NPECLC) to comprehensively eliminate all forms of child labour in Ghana’s cocoa sector. The programme is targeted at all the 69 cocoa growing districts in Ghana including Asunafo South District. This study seeks to ascertain the perspectives of cocoa farmers in the Asunafo South District on the child labour concept, its causes and effects. It also seeks to explore the policy options for addressing this menace. In all 60 cocoa farmers were interviewed in 6 communities and 5 hamlets. The results indicate that the level of awareness of the child labour concept among the cocoa farmers in the Asunafo South District was appreciably high. In all, 78.3 percent of the respondents said they had been educated on effects of child labour. However, their knowledge base of the possible health effects of child labour was quite low. A few policy options were identified as possible solutions to child labour in the district. These include: improving access to quality basic education; implementing social protection schemes such as: i) unconditional transfers, and ii) conditional transfers; and improving access to services such as potable water, schools and clinics to reduce the time spent by children and their families in accessing them.
A Thesis submitted to the Institute of Distance Learning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Commonwealth Executive Masters in Public Administration,