The United States Department of Labour has named Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe, a Ghanaian unionist, and Wadi El Nil, an Egyptian Civil Society Organisation (CSO), as the recipients of the 2024 Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child Labour.

This is contained in a statement from the US Department of Labour and copied to the Ghana News Agency.

Thea Lee, the Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs, described the recipients of the 2024 Iqbal Masih Award as champions in the fight against child labour.

‘Their unwavering efforts and achievements in the ongoing campaign to eliminate child labour have rescued children from the dangers of hazardous work and created economic opportunities for families to help derail the cycle of child labour in Egypt and Ghana.’

The statement highlighted a pivotal force in combating child labour by Wadi El Nil in Egypt’s limestone mining sector for more than two decades.

‘Wadi El Nil Association rescues children from hazardous quarries, offering them pathways to educatio
n and skills development. The association seeks to break the connection between poverty and the cycle of child labour by providing microloans to families to help them to achieve economic stability in recent years,’ the statement said.

It said Wadi El Nil provided additional help to needy families and partnered with community organisations and volunteers to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on vulnerable families.

The Department of Labour also emphasised Tagoe’s significant role as Deputy General Secretary of the General Agricultural Workers Union of the Ghana Trade Union Congress in advancing child and worker rights, as well as being a powerful force in the country’s efforts to end child labour in the agricultural sector.

‘By organising and formalising the agricultural economy in rural areas and working with communities to eliminate child labour, Tagoe has helped thousands of children move from child labour into school. His passionate and effective advocacy has helped to create a strong network of anti-child
labour champions in Ghana and beyond,’ the statement said.

The Iqbal Masih prize for the Elimination of Child Labour is a non-monetary prize established by Congress in 2008 that is handed annually by the Secretary of Labour. The prize is named after Masih, a Pakistani kid who was sold into slavery at the age of four to work as a carpet weaver. Masih escaped at the age of ten and went on to become an outspoken public advocate against child exploitation. He died tragically two years later in his native Pakistan. Iqbal Masih was twelve years old.

Source: Ghana News Agency

By admin