Mr. Gregory Aery, Child Protection and Advocacy Manager for World Vision Ghana (WVG), has said the implementation of policies to help protect the child against abuse and exploitation remains a challenge in many mining communities.
He said many children are often involved in illegal mining as they often drop out of school, to focus on making a living.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Aery said the situation has greatly affected the development of children in such communities as many of them were exploited.
”In such mining areas you would realize there were serious issues with regard to child protection and children in conflict with the law.
When the children begin to assume financial independence, parents lose care, which is tragic because they start to do things in their own way; their lifestyle would change and subsequently drop out of school,” he said.
Mr. Aery said regardless of the challenges, his outfit has developed strategies to help change the mindset of children living in such communities.
Among the strategies, he said, is to engage religious leaders, and have them speak to parents, on ways to improve the situation.
Mr. Aery said such faith leaders have a massive influence on the lifestyle of the communities as they were often sent outside the country to receive training to aid their advocacy.
Mr. Agyemang Asiedu, District Chief Executive Officer of Upper Denkyira West, said the Assembly has been working hand-in-hand with WVG to help reduce the menace of child exploitation and have instituted various mechanisms to help solve the problem.
”The issue of galamsey has been a problem of the district. It is very heartbreaking when you go to these galamsey sites and see children involved in such activities, especially when they are supposed to be in school, but we would not relent in our efforts,” he said.