Fairtrade Africa, an international organization involve in the production of export commodities, have called on governments, companies and international organizations to invest more resources in the development of children.
They should also work to provide safe ways to protect children trapped in child labour, especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
A statement signed by Ms. May-Gloria Tedam, Africa Regional Communications Officer and issued to mark this year’s World Day against Child Labour, said the COVID-19 pandemic, which had caused havoc in more homes was believed to have also increased child labour in some African countries.
This year’s celebration is under theme “protect children from child labour now more than ever”
According to the statement, school closures, coupled with restrictions on migration, means that boys and girls in communities were now more vulnerable to child labour than before.
It was therefore, important to keep a closer eye on children to prevent hazardous work that could affect the health, education and wellbeing of children.
The statement said Fairtrade Africa had been strengthening efforts at tackling the increasing rate of child labour issues in Ghana and the sub-Saharan Africa at large in four key ways.
It said Fairtrade’s producer networks was working closely with producer organizations to inform them of the link between child labour and COVID-19 and heighten their awareness of the risks.
Fairtrade’s new Producer Relief Fund is also meant to provide vital funding for producer organizations to invest in the safety and livelihoods of producers and their families, for example in temporary payment of wages for suspended workers, or emergency healthcare and thus, reducing the risk of children having to work to support their families.
Again, Fairtrade believed the best way to eliminate extreme poverty was to pay farmers and workers a fair price for their crops.
“We work to achieve decent incomes – for example by setting living income and living wage benchmarks, promoting collective bargaining agreements, and protecting farmers from market fluctuations via the Fairtrade Minimum Price,” the statement explained.
Fairtrade Africa is an international organization owned by members, who produce and export crops such as coffee, cocoa, tea, cotton, bananas, mango and non-traditional commodities including shea butter and rooibos tea.