Accra, 14 December 2017 – Some 100 women traders of the Kaneshie Market in Accra were the targets of this year’s United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Accra-organised event to mark Human Rights Day 2017. The traders were sensitized on child trafficking, child labour, child abuse and the Sustainable Development Goals at a forum held on the premises of the market complex, one of the busiest in the capital city.
The participants were drawn from the Kaneshie Market Women Association and the event was aimed at educating market women on the rights of children and the significance of the SDGs. The Deputy Director of Public Education at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr. Mawuli Avutor addressed the women, noting that the protection of the rights of children should be a collective responsibility of parents, teachers and the entire community. He also advised against the use of children for laborious work and especially when they should be asleep or resting. Citing an instance where he intercepted a child with a heavy basket of goods on his head, Mr. Avutor challenged traders to intervene when they come across such instances and advise parents accordingly.
The Secretary of the Kaneshie Market Women Association, Ms. Eva Maison, noted with grave concern the effects of child trafficking and other forms of modern slavery on the future of children, “saying it’s a ‘cankerworm’ gradually destroying the future of our children therefore must not be allowed to continue”. She therefore called for support by all tackle this menace.
She said the forum to sensitise the market women on child rights was a step in the right direction since women play pivotal role in shaping the life of children.
The National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah presented the UN Secretary General’s message. She also presented highlights of the SDGs. In attendance to highlight their agency’s mandate in relation to the SDGs were representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), World Food Programme (WFP), UN Volunteers and UN University-INRA.