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Ghana makes efforts to curb child workers

Ghana has made huge strides in reducing the amount of child laborers on cocoa plantations, due in part to a 10 year fight to get them out of the fields and into the classrooms, IRIN reports.

The effort began in 2001 to stop child labor in Ghana during the Harkin-Engel Protocol, an agreement signed by cocoa and chocolate companies to adequately meet child labor standards.

Humanitarians set up another initiative in 2006 to eliminate the worst cases of child labor across the nation. Now, according to Sam Atoquaye Quaye, the child labor monitoring system coordinator, situations have improved.

"Under this program 12,000 children have been taken off cocoa farms, enrolled in school and provided with school supplies - over half of them in the last year. Ghana is still not child labor free... But we have come far," Atoquaye Quaye told the news outlet.

Aside from removing the children from the farms, the group also works to educate parents and community members on appropriate jobs for children and also on the importance having kids get an education.

The efforts seem to be paying off as both parents and farmers have become educated on work limitations for children.

"I have attended many workshops on child labor," G. C. K. Boa, a cocoa farmer in central Ghana, told the news outlet. "I don’t even want to send a child to buy cigarettes for me."
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