Delegation of the European Union to the State of Kuwait and the State of Qatar

109th session International Labour Conference: Committee on Application of Standards: Ghana - Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)

Geneva, 08/06/2021 - 18:00, UNIQUE ID: 210609_3
Statements on behalf of the EU

 

Thank you, Chair.

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia*[1], Montenegro* and Albania*, and the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this statement.

  1. The EU and its Member States are committed to the promotion, protection, respect and fulfilment of human rights, including labour rights, together with freedom of association and the abolition of forced or compulsory and child labour.
  2. We actively promote the universal ratification and implementation of fundamental international labour standards, including ILO Convention 182 on the abolition of worst forms of child labour. We support the ILO in its indispensable role to develop, promote and supervise the application of international labour standards and of fundamental Conventions in particular.
  3. We thank the Office and give our full support for its constant engagement in promoting labour rights in Ghana.
  4. Ghana is a major partner of the EU in the region including on security matters. Ghana has a commendable track record on democracy, as demonstrated once again with the December 2020 elections. Ghana and the EU have a close and constructive relationship under the Cotonou Agreement, enhanced by Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) covering trade and development cooperation. The recent negotiators’ deal on a new Post-Cotonou EU/Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Partnership Agreement reaffirms not only our joint commitment on trade aspects of sustainable development, but in general to protect, promote, and fulfil human rights, fundamental freedoms, and democratic principles, and to strengthen the rule of law and good governance. Ghana has ambitions for its economic transition “Ghana beyond Aid”, implying significant reforms of its economy and governance, which include serious measures to reduce child labour.
  5. Based on the observations of the Committee of Experts, we note with regret that there is a significant number of cases of sale and trafficking of children, and that offences related to the use, procuring or offering of children for the production of pornography and for pornographic performances, are still being reported, as well as practices under the trokosi system despite their prohibition by law.
  6. Furthermore, the EU and its Member States are concerned by the enduring practice of children being engaged in hazardous work. We urge the Government to continue their efforts in implementing and strengthening effective and time-bound measures to prevent children from becoming victims of trafficking and to remove child victims from all forms of child labour, in particular worst forms of child labour, and ensure their rehabilitation and social integration. We also ask the government to promptly take the necessary measures to incorporate the list of hazardous works into its legislation.
  7. We welcome the written information provided by the Government of Ghana. We also note the progress made in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking cases and the advancements in the implementation of the National Plans of Action for the elimination of worst forms of child labour and for the elimination of human trafficking.
  8. We encourage the government to pursue its efforts and engagement with the Office and seek further technical assistance from other relevant actors, including within the Alliance 8.7. We support these efforts, including through close cooperation with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, and encourage the government to strengthen their engagement through initiatives such as the partnership for sustainable cocoa production including Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue and operational support, as well as the EU-ILO Trade for Decent Work Project. In the context of the latter, the ILO Office is providing technical assistance to the tripartite constituents. We also can expect that Ghana’s efforts to eliminate child labour will be further amplified by additional support under the EU’s 2021-2027 programming of cooperation, specifically targeting the abolition of child labour, trafficking and abuse.
  9. The EU and its Member States remain committed to their close cooperation and partnership with Ghana to promote decent work worldwide, and the abolition of child labour, especially in its worst forms, and child trafficking and abuse in particular.
  10. Thank you Chair.

 

[1] *The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

 

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