A Tamale based Nongovernmental Organization, Centre for Development and Policy Advocacy (CEDEPA), has called on authority to take steps in fighting the increase in child labor and streetism in the Northern Region.
The call was made today, June 12 in a press release on the occasion of World Day Against Child Labour, copied to ghdominancenews.com.
Read the full statement below:
Sunday, June 12, 2022
For Immediate Release
End Child Labour and Streetism to Reduce Crime Rate in the Tamale Metropolis
On the occasion of this year’s World Day Against Child Labour, which is marked on June 12, the Centre for Development and Policy Advocacy (CEDEPA) wishes to call on duty bearers in the Northern Region to take urgent steps to address the increasing trend of child labour and streetism, in order to curb the incidence of child delinquency and crime in the Region, particularly in the Tamale Metropolis.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Universal Social Protection to End Child Labour.” Evidence has shown that there is a closer linkage between child labour and streetism and the rate of child delinquency and crime in society. Therefore, taking practical steps to end child labour and streetism, by providing vulnerable street children with decent alternative livelihoods, is key to creating a safer society for all.
Of late, there has been rising incidence of crime in the Tamale Metropolis. For instance, on the night of Tuesday, June 7, 2022, two people, a Mobile Money Vender, and a Radio Presenter at Neesim FM were killed by armed robbers at Kalariga, a suburb of Tamale. A week earlier, there was a similar robbery attack on another Mobile Money Vender around the Afa Ajura Mosque in the Metropolis. On Friday, June 10, 2022, a TV presenter at SAGANI TV was also robbed of his belongings, worth thousands of Ghana cedis, when thieves broke into his room in broad daylight, while he was at work.
These issues have hightened concerns over growing insecurity in the Tamale Metropolis, which, if not checked, has the potential to affect businesses, livelihoods and tourism in the Tamale Metropolis.
However, the fact is that, the armed robbers, who are turning guns against the rest of society today, were once innocent children, whose livelihoods and welfare, society thought was nobody’s responsibility. Currently, there are countless number of children, called “loading boys, kaayaye girls and Yellow-Yellow(Tricycle) Riders” who are sleeping and making a living at the various bus terminals and markets in the Tamale Metropolis. To cope with these hazardous jobs, many of them resort to drugs and weed smoking, which has consequences for their mental health.
There is also an emerging trend of child beggars, many of whom are the wards of refugees, who fled from conflicts in other African countries, like Somalia and Niger.
Unfortunately, these children, who ordinarily should be in School or learning vocational skills, have made “loading cargo, kayaaye, Yellow-Yellow riding and begging” their professions.
Certainly, they cannot beg or carry people’s loads for the rest of their lives, but, if they lack decent alternative livelihoods in their adulthood, they may be compelled to use force, to get their needs from society.
CEDEPA is therefore calling on the Chief Executives of the various District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies, the Department of Social Welfare and the Northern Regional Minister to adopt the following measures, in addition to Police night patrols, in order to curb the crime situation, in the medium to long term:
1. To identify the children engaged in child labour at the various markets and bus terminals, and enroll them in skill training programmes of their choice, at the National Vocational Training Institute(NVTI). While the government’s Free TVET and Apprenticeship Policy could cover the cost of their training, the Assemblies should also offer them a little stipend to cater for their living expenses. Parents and guardians should be made to sign a bond to supervise their wards regularly, to ensure that they stay in the school to learn.
2. The Assemblies should continuously register adult and qualified Yellow-Yello Drivers, and introduce special tags for them. They should ensure that minors are not registered, and therefore, not given the tags to drive the tricycles.
3. The Department of Social Welfare should work with the Assemblies to identify and rescue all the child beggars in the streets, and adopt them for proper training and upbringing.
CEDEPA is convinced that, if the above measures are adopted, and effectively implemented, it would go a long way, not only to reduce the incidence of child labour and streetism, but also, mitigate child delinquency and the surging crime rate in the Tamale Metropolis in the medium to long term.
It is a non-governmental organisation working in northern Ghana, to protect child rights, end child labour and streetism, and providing equal opportunities for street-connected children, and children in other vulnerable situations, through research, advocacy, and livelihood skills training.
For further correspondence, please contact: 0506384692