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Trade Unionist Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe Wins Child Labor Award

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Report By: Ishmael Barfi

A leading Trade Unionist in Ghana, Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe has been recognized by the United States (U.S) Department of Labor for his exceptional efforts in the fight against Child Labor.

Mr. Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe was part of the recipients of the 2024 Igbal Maish Award for the Elimination of Child Labor, presented annually to recognize exceptional efforts by an individual, company, organization, or national government to end the worst forms of child labor.

Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe and the team

The other recipient was an Egyptian civil society organization, the Wadi El Nil Association.

“The recipients of the 2024 Iqbal Masih Award are champions in the fight against child labor,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee.

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

A pivotal force in combating child labor in Egypt’s limestone mining sector for more than two decades, the Wadi El Nil Association rescues children from hazardous quarries, offering them pathways to education and skills development.

The association seeks to break the connection between poverty and the cycle of child labor by providing microloans to families to help them achieve economic stability.

Trade Unionist Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe Wins Child Labor Award

In recent years, Wadi El Nil has extended additional support to vulnerable families and collaborated with community organizations and volunteers to reduce the impact of the pandemic on families in need.

As Deputy General Secretary of the General Agricultural Workers Union of the Ghana Trade Union Congress, Tagoe has played a significant role in advancing child and workers’ rights and has been a powerful force in the country’s efforts to end child labor in the agricultural industry.

By organizing and formalizing the agricultural economy in rural areas and working with communities to eliminate child labor, Tagoe has helped thousands of children move from child labor into school. His passionate and effective advocacy has helped to create a strong network of anti-child labor champions in Ghana and beyond.

A non-monetary award established in 2008 by Congress, the Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child Labor is presented each year by the Secretary of Labor.

Trade Unionist Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe Wins Child Labor Award

The award honors its namesake, a Pakistani child sold into slavery at the age of four to work as a carpet weaver. After escaping at age 10, Masih became an outspoken public advocate against child exploitation.

Two years later in his native Pakistan, he was killed tragically. Iqbal Masih was 12 years old.




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