ActionAid trains youths on modern slavery, decent work

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ActionAid Ghana with support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (Norad) has trained fifty youths on modern slavery and decent work.

Miss She-Vera Anzagira, the ActionAid Ghana Programme Manager for Greater Accra, Oti and Volta Regions, appealed to the youths to help curtail modern slavery in the country by creating awareness of its forms and effects.

She said combating modern slavery in Ghana was a shared responsibility and that every human was important to ActionAid.

Speaking at the programme at Catholic Formation and Counseling Centre at Nsuta-Buem in the Jasikan District of the Oti Region,

Participants were trained on forms and what constitutes modern slavery, factors contributing to it, its effects and their roles in fighting the menace.

They were equally coached on what is decent work, types and what makes it decent.

The participants, which includes; Young Female Platform members, Activists, chiefs, queen mothers and opinion leaders were drawn from nine communities in the Kadjebi District.

Miss Anzagira explained that the project was to complement government efforts in eradicating modern slavery which manifests in the form of forced labour, child labour, human trafficking, debt bondage and unfair contract farming practices.

She said their project objectives were to facilitate the implementation of measures to identify, prevent and address modern slavery within the agriculture sector, eliminate the involvement of child labour and women in agriculture plantations under conditions of servitude.

It is again to enhance the knowledge of individuals and communities on modern slavery practices, so they could act in concert to prevent such practices.

The Regional Programme Manager said Ghana has signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that target 7.8 of the SDGs charged member States to “take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms”.

She said ActionAid hoped to directly reach a total of 26,700 beneficiaries and 15 million people indirectly with the modern-day slavery messages so that together the menace could be tackled.

On Decent Work Agenda; Miss Anzagira said, since 1999, the promotion of decent work has been the main objective of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

She explained that the primary goal of the decent work agenda was “to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity”.

Miss Anzagira said the concept of decent work is based on understanding that work is not only a source of income but a source of dignity, family stability, economic growth, among others.

Mr Jamil Tanimu, a Programme Officer with ActionAid, advised the participants to always try to identify the act, means and the purpose of modern slavery to enable them to know how to address it effectively.

Mr Jamil said globally, 40 million people were enslaved daily, 21 million forced labour, 15 forced marriage, 4 million sexually exploited and that 71 per cent were women and girls, while 25 per cent were children.

He said 23 per cent are in Africa with the highest prevalence rate of 7.6 victims for every 1,000 people.

The Programme Officer named League of Nations Slavery Convention, 1920, UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, ILO Convention on Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999, UN Trafficking Protocol, 2000, among others as international legal frameworks passed to help fight the menace.

Mr Jamil also mentioned the 1992 Constitution, Human Trafficking Act, 2005, Labour Act, 2003, LI 22I9 (2015), Children’s Amendment Act, 2016 (Act 937) as National Laws passed to aid curtail the menace.

He also called on them to report such acts to DOVVSU, CHRAJ, Social Welfare and Community Development, among others for action.

Ms Linda Akakpo, a participant told Ghana News Agency that the training had enlightened her on the new dimensions to modern slavery and that she would educate people on the act.

Officials from NCCE, CHRAJ and Social Welfare and Community Development educated the participants on their core mandates and solicited their support for effective work delivery.

The training was held under the theme: “Combating Modern Slavery in Ghana”.During Focus Group Discussions, the participants have identified poverty, unemployment, divorce, ignorance, peer pressure and the get-rich-quick phenomenon as some of the factors contributing to modern slavery in their localities.

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