The eighteen-month project titled “Prevention and Withdrawal of Children from Commercial Sexual Exploitation” (CSEC) which commenced in October 2007 was successfully completed in March 2009. The project, funded by International Needs New Zealand and the New Zealand Government ,was aimed at contributing to the elimination of the worst forms of child labour in Ghana.The two main objectives of the project were:
(i) To mobilize the public to advocate for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour
(ii) To prevent, withdraw and provide social support to 300 children (victims and children vulnerable to CSEC). The project was implemented in three communities within the Accra Metropolitan Area namely, Chorkor, La and Jamestown.
Activities held to sensitize the general public on the dangers of CSEC, included community educational durbars, group meetings and children’s fora. Posters on CSEC were also developed and circulated in the project areas to contribute to the sensitization process. Community child labor committees were formed to assist in the identification of vulnerable children and victims of CSEC. Trained community counselors collaborated with a counselor from the Department of Social Welfare to offer general and career counseling to the children.
309 children benefited from the project thus exceeding our targeted number of 300. Out of the 309, 206 children were enrolled into basic schools while 106 were assisted to acquire vocational skills of their choice
Children placed in formal schools were provided with books, writing materials, uniforms and school bags. They also received full payments for their school levies. Those placed in vocational skills training were also provided with uniforms and tools/kits for their training and their training fees fully paid for.
A District Child Labour Monitoring Committee was established to monitor the progress of the children in school and also to mobilize resources to contribute to the elimination of child labour in the area. Members of the committee included officials of the Ghana Education Service, the Department of Social Welfare and the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit.