Supreme Court judge nominee Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu says it is important drawing the fine line between child socialisation and child labour.

She said in the cultural context of Ghana, a child helping with domestic chores or working to tender a garden cannot be classified as a victim of child labour.

The child, she said must be socialised into learning these needed skills.

Citing an instance, the nominee said she once visited an orphanage at Dodowa and was shocked that they had no garden despite the home having sufficient land.

Prof. Mensa-Bonsu said when she inquired, she was told there was no garden because the children were taught in school that it is child labour.

“I asked them who taught you that,” she stated.

The use of children on cocoa farms is a contentious issue with many saying it is a perception while others admitting it is a hidden truth and a well-known fact.

In 2010, findings of a research commissioned by Tulane University showed that a staggering 1.8 million children aged five to 17 years work in cocoa farms of Ivory Coast and Ghana at the cost of their physical, emotional, cognitive and moral well-being.

Regional Minister-designate rebuffs child labour claims on cocoa ...

The report further establishes that about 40 percent of children working in cocoa fields of Ivory Coast are not enrolled in schools and that only five percent of Ivorian children are paid for their work.

The United States Department of State particularly the Department of Labour (DOL) has downgraded Ghana citing child labour in the agriculture sector and in particular the cocoa sector.

The law professor said what is wrong is engaging the children in tasks which prevent them from going to school or otherwise harm their health.

This, the senior law lecturer said should not be tolerated but the distinction must be noted in the cultural context.

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