On Wednesday, the Government of Ghana together with International Cocoa Initiative, (ICI) International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the World Bank launched joint initiatives titled “Accelerating Together Action Against Child Labour in Ghana, multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral initiatives”. These joint initiatives aim to enable all partners to work together in implementing the Ghana Accelerated Action Plan Against Child Labour (GAAPCL 2023-2027). 

Chaired by Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Ghana’s Minister for Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), the event brought policy makers, Government officials across sectors at the national levels, development partners, civil society organisations, and the private sector together, to witness the launch of the various initiatives.  

The projects launched were: 

  • Child labour Multisectoral and Multistakeholder Public-Private Partnership (PPP), supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa (SWISSCO), UNICEF and ICI. Implemented in Bibiani-Anwiaso-Bekwai, Asunafo North, Ayensuano and Assin South districts from 2024 to 2025. 
  • Project for Mainstreaming Child Protection through Child Labour Free Zones (CLFZ), supported by JICA 
  • Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in Supply Chains in Africa (ACCEL) Project, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and implemented by the ILO. Implemented in the Wassa Amenfi East, Bia East and Juaboso Districts of the Western and Western North Regions.

These initiatives aim to address the root causes of child labour and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal 8.7, which aims to “end child labour in all its forms.”

The PPP project supported by ICI, UNICEF, SECO and SWISSCO sets out to establish a proof of concept of how to address child labour, and improve child protection, access to social services, employment opportunities and learning outcomes for children and youth through public-private partnerships in cocoa-growing communities. At the community level, ICI will advocate for improved child safeguarding policies within the private sector supply chains and conduct community sensitisation.

Mike Arthur, ICI Country Director for Ghana emphasised that, with this initiative ICI hopes to leverage its past experience to ensure that joint actions can be identified and that there will be proper coordination of all efforts. “This is a strong indication that the days of siloed approaches are over and that there should be collaborated approaches to support the government's efforts to implement the Ghana Accelerated Action Plan Against Child Labour (GAAPCL 2023-2027),” he added.

In his keynote address, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, commended the project partners: “this initiative is a response to one of the objectives of the GAAPCL 2023-2027 which calls for an effective coordination of multi- stakeholders' efforts on child labour and child protection.” He further called upon all partners within the project implementation areas to join this collaboration, leverage on their respective resources and expertise to expand coverage of the interventions.