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PhD Student Receives Grant for Research Tackling Child Labour

Alhassan Abdullah

Alhassan Abdullah, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration, has been awarded a ‘From Research to Action (RTA)’ project seed grant for his proposal on investigating the issue of child labour in Ghana. 

The RTA project (in full: ‘From Research to Action: Using Knowledge to Accelerate Progress in the Elimination of Child Labour and Forced Labour’) was developed by the International Labour Organization in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration with partnership support from the United States Department of Labor. It aims to support junior and early career researchers worldwide on research, both at policy and practice levels, to address gaps in knowledge on child labour, forced labour and human trafficking. 

Existing research on child labour in Ghana points towards the instrumental role of socio-cultural norms and values that support the practice. Alhassan’s proposed study, however, aims to adopt a bottom-up practice research approach by engaging key stakeholders (children, parents, community key informants and workers of non-governmental agencies) from the two leading occupations with child labour problems – cocoa farming and sea fishing – to unravel norms underpinning child labour practices in Ghana. Narratives from the stakeholders will provide insights into the local norms that support child labour practices, to inform a normative change campaign that can target shifting and reshaping the negative child labour norms to ensure better outcomes for children.