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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

US To Blacklist Ghana’s Gold And Fish?

On the Lake Volta in Ghana, Mark Kwadwo, 6, left, scoops water in the canoe, whiles an elderly man steers the canoe.
The United States of America has indicated its intention to lay a trade embargo on Ghana’s Gold and Fish (Tilapia), because these goods have been identified as produced by child labour and/or forced labour, according to Challenging Heights, an NGO devoted to the welfare of children in Ghana.

In a report submitted by the US Bureau of International Labour Affairs (ILAB) to their Vice-President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the ILAB presented a comprehensive list of goods and/or raw materials for which they have reason to believe was produced by child labour or forced labour.

According to Challenging Heights, the US government through ILAB, has given the end of December 2009, for countries affected by the report to respond.

Ghana stands to lose over GHC1.7billion annually in gold revenue should the commodity be blacklisted. Over 150,000 large scale miners and an estimated 100,000 small scale miners stand to lose their jobs if gold is blacklisted.

Over 500,000 of fishermen stand to lose their jobs if Tilapia from Ghana is blacklisted.

It would be recalled that Ghana’s cocoa faced a similar indication of international embargo under the Harkin-Engel Protocol which, among other things, demands a certification system that requires that by the year 2010, 100% of cocoa growing areas do not use child labour.

Speaking to PEACEFM News this evening on the issue, the CEO of Challenging Heights, Mr. James Annan, said “tourism revenue will also be significantly reduced since Tilapia is an important delicacy in most restaurants, hotels and other important joints,” and called on government to as a matter of urgency, respond appropriately on the issue.

“Gov’t must hasten in addressing this…just as child labour was curtailed from the cocoa sector, the same should be done to arrest this unfortunate development,” he stated.
Source: Maame Efua Koomson

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