Child Labour

Child Labour in Ghana, Child Labour and Labour Laws in Ghana, Can I Employ a Child?, Child Labour and Exploitation and more on Mywage Ghana.

What is Child Labour?

According to the ILO, child labour is defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity. It refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and interferes with their schooling by:

  • Depriving them of the opportunity to attend school
  • Obliging them to leave school prematurely, or
  • Requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.

How does it relate nationally and internationally?

The concept of child labour is based on the ILO Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), which represents the most comprehensive and authoritative international definition of minimum age for admission to employment or work. Under the Ghana Children Act 1998, minimum age for admission of children into employment is fifteen (15). However, children may be employed at the age of thirteen (13) to do light work. The minimum age for engagement of persons in hazardous work is eighteen (18).

Whilst child labour by both boys and girls takes many different forms, the elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) as defined by Article 3 of the ILO Convention No. 182 is a priority. The convention calls for immediate prohibition of the WFCL, enacting laws, regulations and standards. Secondly, it requires ratifying states to take urgent and effective measures to eliminate these worst forms through programmes of action. It applies to all children under the age of 18, but calls for special attention to girls.

Are employers allowed to engage children in hazardous work?

No. Employers are not allowed to engage children in exploitative labour which deprives children of education, healthcare and development.

Can an employer engage children in night work?

No. Employers are not supposed to engage children in night work.

What is some of the hazardous work that employers should not engage children in?

Under no circumstances are children allowed to do the following hazardous work:

  • Going to sea
  • Mining and quarrying
  • Porterage of heavy loads
  • Working at manufacturing industries where chemicals are produced
  • Working in places where machines are used
  • Working in places such as bars, hotels and places of entertainment where a person may be exposed to immoral behaviour.

What will be the consequences if an employer allows children to do hazardous work?

Any employer who contravenes this provision shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding GHc1000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.

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