“Accelerating TOGETHER Action Against Child Labour in Ghana: a joint launch of the multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral initiatives”

The Government of Ghana, Switzerland, the Netherlands, UNICEF, ICI, JICA, World Bank, and ILO join hands to end child labour in Ghana.

20 March 2024
Government officials, partners and stakeholders at today's launch of multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral initiatives.
UNICEF/Francis Kokoroko/2024
Government officials, partners and stakeholders at today's launch of multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral initiatives.

Accra – 20th March 2024 – Today, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) and its partners, including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and International Labour Organization (ILO) organized a launch event titled “Accelerating TOGETHER Action Against Child Labour in Ghana, multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral initiatives” in Accra. The launch brought policy makers, Government officials across sectors at the national and sub-national levels, development partners, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to witness the launch of three new initiatives. These initiatives aim to address the root causes of child labour, coordinate ongoing efforts and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.7, which aims to “end child labour in all its form.”

The launch was chaired by Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations (MELR). More than 200 individuals attended the event, including Ms. Vanessa Phala, Country Director of ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Liaison Office for ECOWAS; Ms. Anne Kariuki, Representative officer in charge of UNICEF; Mr. Mike Arthur, Country Director of ICI; Dr. Ashwini Sebastian, Senior Agriculture Specialist from the World Bank; Ms. Momoko Suzuki, Chief Director of JICA; Naomi Tuinstra, representative of His Excellency Jeroen Verheul, Dutch Ambassador to Ghana; and Dr. Simone Haeberli, Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Cooperation of the Embassy of Switzerland in Ghana.

During the event, the following projects were launched:

  • Child labour Multisectoral and Multistakeholder Public-Private Partnership (PPP), supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa (SWISSCO), UNICEF and ICI (Implemented in Bibiani-Anwiaso-Bekwai, Asunafo North, Ayensuano and Assin South districts from 2024 to 2025, total US$ 4 mil.).
  • Project for Mainstreaming Child Protection through Child Labour Free Zones (CLFZ), supported by JICA.
  • Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in Supply Chains in Africa (ACCEL) Project, being financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and implemented by the ILO (Implemented in the Wassa Amenfi East, Bia East and Juaboso Districts of the Western and Western North Regions).

In his keynote address, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), appealed to all partners within the project implementation areas to join this collaboration and leverage on the respective resources and expertise to expand coverage of the interventions towards eliminating child labour. Also, statements from the various stakeholders emphasized on the need to commit to ending child labour, draw synergies among projects, prevent duplication and maximize resource utilization to achieve optimal impact. Following the statements, a composite presentation on the various projects was delivered by ILO on behalf of the Partners. The presentation covered the objectives, operational areas and expected outcome of each project.

This joint event symbolizes a notable commitment from various partners, including the private sector, demonstrating their strong willingness to synergize and collaborate in support of the Government of Ghana in implementing the Ghana Accelerated Action Plan Against Child labour 2023 – 2027 (GAAPACL) and presenting a united front against child labour.


About ILO
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission that social justice is essential to universal and lasting peace. The only tripartite U.N. agency, the ILO brings together governments, employers, and workers representatives of 187 Member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men. For more information about the ILO and its work, visit: www.ilo.org. For more information about ACCEL Africa project, visit: www.ilo.org/accel-africa, twitter.com/AfricaAccel and facebook.com/ACCELAfrica

About ICI
With offices in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Switzerland, we unite the forces of the cocoa and chocolate industry, civil society, farming communities, governments, international organizations and donors, leading a collective journey towards thriving cocoa-growing communities within a sustainable and responsibly managed cocoa supply chain. We have been working in cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana since 2007. During this time, we have contributed to improving the lives of children and adults in these communities.


About the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs aims to contribute to a just and sustainable world. One of the ways to do so, is to create more sustainable value chains, in which we focus on eliminating child labour, deforestation, and all forms of exploitation. The Ministry does that in collaboration with the EU in order to protect the environment and the most vulnerable in the value chains. In Ghana, the embassy specifically focuses on the cocoa sector, in order to make it a more just and sustainable and profitable value chain for all stakeholders. In order to leverage our efforts, we work together with all the stakeholders involved, in order to look for pathways to align. That is why the Ministry is happy to fund the ILO ACCEL programme through the Department for Sustainable Economic Development Department, which will now also start operations in Ghana. The ACCEL programme is in line with the work of the embassy in its focus on the cocoa sector. The launch of this programme creates an incentive for further collaboration, finding synergies, and strengthening each other’s work towards a profitable and fair cocoa sector. Interested to know more about the work of the Netherlands embassy in Ghana? Check out the social media platforms: Home - Ghana | The Netherlands and Ghana (netherlandsandyou.nl) LinkedIn Instagram Facebook Twitter

The Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa (SWISSCO) fosters collaboration between the cocoa and chocolate industry, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, and research institutes. Together, the members of the Cocoa Platform actively engage to improve the living conditions of cocoa farmers, protect natural resources, and promote biodiversity in cocoa-producing countries. Participation, partnership, and transparency contribute to a sustainable cocoa value chain, for both present and future generations.

About JICA
The Japan International Cooperation Agency, an incorporated administrative agency in charge of administering Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) is one of the world’s largest bilateral aid agencies supporting socioeconomic development in developing countries in different regions of the world. Since, 1974, JICA has supported the resolutions of issues in developing countries through a flexible combination of various types of assistance methods such as Technical Cooperations, Grants, Finance and Investment Cooperation, Emergency Disaster Relief, Public- Private Partnerships and Citizen participations.

Follow JICA Ghana on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jicaghana/
Website: https://www.jica.go.jp/ghana/english/

Media contacts

E. Offeibea Baddoo
Communication Specialist
Tel: +233 24 466 3643
Katie Bird
Communications Director
International Cocoa Initiative (ICI)
Tel: +41 (0)792413745


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work, visit: www.unicef.org

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