SSF’s BCS Project - Upper Denkyira East & West & Assin North
A total of 50 communities and 50 Community mobilizers have been selected to support the implementation of the BCSP in Upper Denkyira East and West Districts of the Central region of Ghana by the SSF Project Team in collaboration with Ghana Health Service and BCSP Partners. If you would like to get more information about this project please click here.
Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Coalition
The Social Support Foundation has joined with other Ghanaian Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s) and Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) to form The Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Coalition to share knowledge and expertise while promoting awareness of labor issues in Ghana. Their specific focus is on worst forms of child labor, trafficking in persons, and modern day slavery. The newly formed Coalition’s vision is to create a society free from human rights abuses for the promotion of human development.
You can read more about the Coalition here.
Oil Watch Ghana
Oil exploration in Ghana dates back almost a century, with tiny quantities of oil produced in the Saltpond field. Since the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities in June 2007, oil fever has gripped the nation, and Ghana is rapidly emerging as an oil industry hotspot. Reserve estimates put production over 800 million barrels, with an upside potential of 3 billion barrels (Ghana National Petroleum Company). This resource makes possible great progress and presents enormous opportunities in Ghana with respect to revenue, petrochemical industrial development, job creation and poverty reduction. At the same time, cocoa production and exports, forestry production exports, fishing and other agricultural industries are threatened by oil production due to competition for land and other resources, the possible dislocation of trade opportunities, and the potential for total governmental neglect of the aforementioned sectors in their shift to focus to the oil and gas sector. Presently, the needed policies for efficient utilization of oil resources, livelihood management of affected areas, and environmental safeguards are far from complete.
It is within this context that the Oil Watch Ghana Coalition seeks to ensure sustainable and efficient oil and gas resource management by: ensuring the necessary legal and institutional frameworks are in place; promoting local awareness; enhancing the capacity of citizens to engage the government, oil companies and other stakeholders on the potential positive and negative impacts of oil production; helping to diversify local economies; and insisting upon effective revenue management, including prudent spending of oil and gas resources. The Coalition has nine members, six of which are currently implementing programs under the purview of Natural Resource and Environment Governance. The Social Support Foundation serves as the leading member of the coalition.
Oil Watch Gana seeks to achieve the following objectives:
- Identify and engage strategic stakeholders to ensure transparency and accountability, socio-cultural, economic and environmental equity, and the fair distribution of oil and gas revenue in Ghana.
- Foster a coordinated and informed network of Civil Society Organizations, policy makers and duty bearers involved in the oil and gas sectors. Workshops and seminars will be instituted to build consensus and capacity among these groups, share knowledge and to provide training on policy advocacy and the citizen-government enagement process.
- Increase participation of local stakeholders, including women and vulnerable groups, by raising public awareness and thus achieving enhanced community-led advocacy on oil and gas governance.
- Facilitate research, analysis, monitoring, and evaluation of oil and gas sector policies, including governance, security and human rights, and the implementation of these policies.
Download a detailed activity plan for Oil Watch Ghana, here.
Download the Social Support Foundation / Oil Watch Ghana 2010 Annual Report, here.
Download the Establishment of Baseline & Potential Effects of Oil & Gas Exploration on Flora & Fauna in the Jomoro, Ellembelle and Nzema East Districts Field Report, here.
Download the Centre For Environmental Impact Analysis’ Draft Report on Effects of Oil and Gas Exploration at the Jubilee Field on Water Quality in Oil Rich Coastal Communities in the Western Region, Ghana, here.
Download the Social Support Foundation’s Local Economic Development Assessment of the Jomoro District, here.
In Partnership with Free the Slaves
Community Resistance to Slavery and Forced Labour
ILO-IPEC estimates that 10,000 children are working in the informal mining sector in Ghana (2006); these children reportedly work long hours that deny them the chance to benefit from school, are exposed to mercury, and carry dangerous loads in unsafe locations. In the same communities, there have been reports of adults enslaved by debt bondage.
In 2009, the Social Support Foundation became a partner of the US-based INGO, Free the Slaves. In that partnership, SSF helps affected communities create action plans to tackle the root causes of slavery, provides recovery assistance to rescued adults and children and economic assistance to vulnerable families, and attempts to obtain mining permits for organized groups of miners so they can move out of the slaveholders’ control. SSF ultimately aims to engender a collective rejection of all forms of slavery in the mining industry, specifically debt bondage, the sexual exploitation of girls, and child labor.
SFF plans to achieve the above goals by:
- Strengthening community capacity to tackle the causes of trafficking, debt-bondage and commercial sex. SSF provides support to communities and community leaders to draft and validate their community action plan, with support from the District Assemblies. SSF also works with community and galamsey gang leaders to explore options for alternative livelihoods.
- Obtaining protection and support for Commercial Sex and Debt Bondage Survivors. In conjunction with the Department of Social Welfare, SSF provides psychosocial support and career guidance to identified survivors either at a shelter facility or in a safe, home/family environment. Further, SSF works with their community sensitization partners, community radio (including bush radio) and galamsey groups to ensure that people at risk of being trafficked or getting trapped into debt bondage are educated about the risks and protected from them.
- Ensuring that law enforcement agencies and mining-related agencies perform their roles. SSF will mobilize and train a number of entities, including Obuasi media, police, the Obuasi Municipal Assembly, the Department of Social Welfare, the Ghana Mine Workers Union, and the Community and Social Development Unit of AngloGold Ashanti. These entities will be educated about laws on trafficking, slavery, debt bondage, commercial sex and the worst forms of child labor so that they can explore options for effective enforcement of these laws.
Download a progress report of small scale mining in targeted communities, here.
Child Health, Empowerment and Education Surveillance
Small scale, unlicensed mining, popularly known as “galamsey,” employs an estimated 20,000 – 30,000 people in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Over the past four years, through interactions with small scale miners, SSF has identified over 150 children forced to work in the galamsey mines as labor slaves. Increasing economic hardship is pushing even more children into small scale mining, further increasing child labor and forced labor situations in the mining communities. Read more about how unlicensed galamsey creates a trap for mining bosses and children alike here.
In partnership with Free the Slaves (a US-based NGO), the Social Support Foundation expanded the CHEES project to reduce poverty, child trafficking and forced labor (indentured servitude, debt bondage, etc.) in the mining communities. The project achieves this goal by implementing a number of targeted tactics, specifically:
- Sensitizing and educating at-risk communities about trafficking and galamsey, including family and community capacity strengthening and empowerment.
- Engaging in dialogue with stakeholders and community members to promote sustainable community empowerment and to collapse completely the systems and structures that promote slavery.
- Assisting small scale miners in obtaining mining concessions to legitimize and formalize their trade and repositioning them in international trade lanes to promote fair trade in the artisanal gold mining sector.
- Rescuing and providing assistance to victims of slavery and trafficking in the form of alternative livelihood education and reintegration counseling.