HON. CYNTHIA MORRISON MARKS 2018 WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY WITH SCHOOL CHILDREN
November 20, 2018 2:07 pm
On Tuesday 20th November, 2018, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Cynthia Mamle Morrison, as part of activities to commemorate the World Children’s Day, had a lively and fun interaction with some selected school children. The event, which was held at her office, offered the platform to the invited children to engage Hon. Cynthia Morrison on issues related to children in Ghana, and discuss also how Ghana was working to ensure that children are safe and enjoy their rights.
Speaking to the Hon. Minister, the children raised some concerns over issues like female genital mutilation (FGM), child prostitution, child marriage, child labour and streetism of children, which according to them continue to affect children in Ghana. They expressed their displeasure also at how some children were living on the streets devoid of any proper care or protection.
Hon. Cynthia Morrison assured them that the Government of Ghana was implementing policies and programmes that will address issues such as child marriage, child rights, child neglect and abuse in order to make life comfortable and better for Ghanaian children. She added that government will continue to support the fundamental human rights of the Ghanaian child and also give them a fair representation.
The World Children’s Day was established in 1954 by the United Nations and is celebrated on 20th November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare. November 20, is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The World Children’s Day offers each and every one an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children’s rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for Children.
Hon. Cynthia Morrison used the opportunity to call on parents and guardians to bring up their children to be responsible, provide their basic needs such as education, food shelter and clothing, and allow them to enjoy their childhood and treat them well because they were gifts from God.
Lastly, she advised the children to take their studies seriously, read more, listen to advice from their parents and also from elderly people. The Hon. Minister added that they should believe one day they will be great people in future.
Right after the interaction with the school children, Hon. Cynthia Morrison appeared before the House of Parliament where she read the statement for the commemoration of the World Children’s Day. She was accompanied by 50 school children, teachers, as well as Madam Anne-Claire Dufay (UNICEF Representative in Ghana) together with Fiachra McAsey (UNICEF Deputy Representative in Ghana) and other UNICEF Officers.
The statement was well greeted in parliament by all members as they pledged to support the Ministry of Gender create a better society for the children.
The celebration of the World Children’s Day by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection was done in collaboration with UNICEF Ghana.
Below is the full statement delivered by Hon. Cynthia Morrison on the occasion of the World Children’s Day at the House of Parliament.
STATEMENT BY HON. MINISTER FOR GENDER, CHILDREN AND SOCIAL PROTECTION CYNTHIA MAMLE MORRISON,
FOR THE COMMEMORATION OF THE WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY ON THE 20TH NOVEMBER, 2018
HON. MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
FRIENDS FROM THE MEDIA,
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
It is a pleasure for me today to be in this august house to read this statement in commemoration of the World Children’s Day.
United Nations World’s Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20th each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare.
November 20th is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Mr. Speaker, this day is indeed a day worthy of celebration since the Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most signed and ratified UN Convention in the world and it is interesting to note that, Ghana made history by being the 1st Member State to ratify the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child.
The Universal Children’s Day was instituted to offer each member state an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children’s rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for Children.
Mr. Speaker, this year, Children are taking over and turning the world blue. November 20th is a day to celebrate the progress made for children, ask leaders to commit to protection, promotion of children’s rights including their development. It is also a day set aside to discuss the prevention and elimination of violence, abuse and exploitation of children. It’s a day for children, by children, when the world’s youngest citizens are uniting together to call on governments to invest in the future of their countries by giving every child access to quality education in a safe environment.
Mr. Speaker, Ghana is doing so much to make the lives of children better. That notwithstanding, children still face a lot of abuses. About 33% of children in Ghana are said to have been sexually abused. This includes rape, molestation, touching of private parts, watching pornography, the use of inappropriate language, and dirty jokes. According to the 2014 DHS, on the average, 1 out of 5 girls in Ghana is married before their 18th birthday. The 2014 DHS again reports that, 14% of girls aged 15 to 19 years had begun having children. About 29% of children under 5 years do not have birth certificates whiles 22% of Children aged 5 to 14 years are engaged in child labour. Children aged 2 – 14 years who experience violence discipline is 94%.
On the 20th of November, when we join the rest of the world to go blue, we will actually be pledging to; Celebrate children; Support their rights; and Amplify their voices.
We want to build a world where every child is in school, safe from harm and can fulfil their potential.
This celebration calls for people in the streets, on social media, in boardrooms and sporting activities across the country to commit to Go Blue with and for children in a way that amplifies children’s voices.
The day will further be used to create awareness on achievements of the Ghana Against Child Abuse Campaign (GACA). The GACA 1st Anniversary which was on the 19th of November, 2018 showcased the positive stories and testimonials resulting from the campaign, celebrated the successes with everyone associated with the GACA brand and used the opportunity to call on others to join the movement.
As we celebrate the Universal Children’s day today, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, UNICEF and Partners are calling on all Ghanaians to strive to create a country that fulfills its promise of a better future for her children as enshrined in the CRC, which Ghana was the 1st Country to ratify.
In Ghana, we would like to celebrate World Children’s Day through the following ways:
Promote World Children’s Day to as many Ghanaians as possible through key media and social media channels and live platforms
o Social media – twitter, Facebook, Instagram, key partner websites
Encourage institutions, political leaders and influential individuals to listen to children, and give them a platform – essentially to #GoBlue for the day.
We call on all Ghanaians to also go blue for every child and to take a stand against child abuse so that no child is left behind in the development of our country.
I wish every child a happy World Children’s Day.
God bless every child and God bless Ghana.