Entry: Margaret Odotei, World Cocoa Foundation

Three hours of heavy rain and one hour of drizzle was hardly enough to stop the enthusiastic children, community members, government officials, development partners and officials from the cocoa industry who had gathered to commemorate the 10th edition of the World Day Against Child Labour. This year’s events, with the theme Human Rights and Social Justice: Let’s End Child Labour, was held in Accra and in Bedum, a small community in the Central Region.

In line with the MOU signed last year between WCF and the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, we supported the national event to commemorate the World Day Against Child Labour as well as the community event. Mr. Takyi Sraha, Technical Advisor for ACI participated at the national event and I participated at the community event in Bedum.

At the community event, the high point was the colorful and great performance by the pupils of the Bedum Basic School. Through dramatized poetry recitals and a musical drama, the children called for the respect of their human rights in line with the theme. The Regional Minister for the Central Region, Madam Ama Banyiwa Doe who gave the keynote address, called for parents to place premium value on their children’s education to ensure a brighter future for families and for the country as a whole. WCF on its part joined its voice with the voices of partners to call for:

• National policies and programmes to ensure effective progress in the elimination of child labour
• Action to build the worldwide movement against child labour

As I reflected on the day’s event, the words of Nelson Mandela echoed in my mind:
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”