‘LET’S ELIMINATE BEHAVIOURS AND SOCIAL NORMS THAT ENCOURAGE CHILD ABUSE’ – HON. CYNTHIA MORRISON
November 19, 2018 3:07 pm
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon, Mamle Cynthia Morrison has called on all key and relevant stakeholders in the fight for the protection of children to join efforts and eliminate social norms and behaviours that enforce and encourage violence against children. According to her, a change of attitude and behaviour will help greatly address the issue of violence and abuse of children.
The Honourable Minister made the remark at the One Year Anniversary Celebration of the GACA (Ghanaians Against Child Abuse)Campaign held on Monday 19th November, 2018. The event was commemorated on the theme “Promoting Alternatives to Violence Against Children.”
Launched by H.E. Samira Bawumia a year ago, the The GACA campaign seeks to make children feel safe and loved, so that they can grow up to be responsible adults with the help of parents, guardians, teachers, religious leaders, community leaders, traditional authorities and indeed everyone including children themselves. It calls on everyone to be a GACA, a Ghanaian Against Child Abuse.
The 1st anniversary event, therefore, seeks to acknowledge and celebrate the modest strides made to inspire others to take a stand against child abuse in Ghana.
Hon. Cynthia Morrison said child abuse could end by enforcing Policy and Legislative frameworks to ensure that minimum standards were adhered to. She said improving services and infrastructure for children and strengthening institutions, were key to ending child abuse, adding that behaviour of both duty bearers and claim holders would help ensure compliance to provisions of laws, policies and best practices.
The sector Minister added that her ministry was currently undertaking important exercises to review all child-related laws in the country for effective child protection.
Hon. Cynthia Morrison urged all relevant stakeholders to continue to invest more in the campaign to ensure that children in Ghana receive the best of care, support and love. She reiterated the need of of tackling the cultural and social norms had high influence in shaping a person’s behaviour which included the use of violence.
“One fundamental fact that promotes and encourages child abuse and other violence against children is our cultural and social norms that we hold on to as a people,” she said.
The Second Lady, H.E. Samira Bawumia, addressing the gathering said despite the progress of the GACA, children continue to suffer violence on daily basis adding that “indeed through social media, it is now very common to get reports of children beaten, killed or maimed in the guise of correction.
“It is also more common-placed to get reports of online bullying and how social media generally is having a negative impact on the lives of children and young people in our country”, she added.
The Second Lady said there was an assumed worrying trend of children, who were being abused sexually.
According to her, “in April last year, as many as eight teachers were found guilty of inappropriate sexual advances on students in Senior High Schools (SHS).
“This is one out of many of such cases and I am particularly concerned about such reports as children are being abused by adults entrusted with their care,” she emphasised.
Mrs Bawumia also launched a resource pack dubbed “The Safe Schools Resource Pack” by the Ghana Education Service (GES) in collaboration with UNICEF and the government of Canada.
The programme she said would address corporal punishment, bullying and sexual harassment and transform schools into safe and inclusive learning environment.
The GACA campaign is a joint Programme by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Ministry of Education, NGO partners as well as other key development partners, with support from UNICEF Ghana. The campaign is coordinated by the Department of Community Development.