August 26, 2022 4:38 pm

As part of activities outlined to commemorate the National Children’s Day, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection through the Department of Children on Friday, 26th August, 2022 held a ‘ Street Children’s Durbar’ at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park.

The durbar was under the theme: “Improving Street Children’s Access to Social Services”

The event was organized to:

• Sensitise/ Create awareness among street children about the dangers of child labour, child prostitution and adolescent pregnancy and the long-term impact on their health and development.

• Educate street children about the importance of birth registration and its relationship with nationality and the legal framework.

• Engage mainstream media in providing enough publicity on the matter to increase the public’s awareness of the situation and to draw their interest towards addressing them.

In her keynote address, the Deputy Minister/ Minister Designate for MoGCSP, Hon. Hajia Lariba Zuweira Abudu assured the children gathered that, government will continue to put in place measures that will protect and promote their rights. She added that, there is the need for stakeholders to recognize their roles in eradicating harmful practices that target children across the nation.

In response to the worrying phenomenon of streetism, the Hon. Deputy Minister said an Inter-Ministerial Committee on streetism which includes MoGCSP, MLGDRD, Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, Interior and Information Ministries has been set up to address issues of streetism.

Hon. Hajia Lariba Zuweira Abudu appreciated the Ministry’s partners for their immense contribution towards the development of Ghanaian children.

The Director for the Department of Social Welfare, Dr. Comfort Asare in her welcome address indicated that the pervasiveness of harmful cultural and social practices continues to violate the rights of children in Ghana. These harmful practices, according to her, prevent children from fully enjoying the basic rights set out in the African Children’s Charter.

“The harm caused by these practices causes children to suffer immediate physical and psychological consequences, adversely affecting their dignity, physical, psychological and moral integrity and development”. she said.

The Director of EYEH Soup Kitchen Ms. Elizabeth Quarshie-Idun commended the Ministry for its continuous support to them.

She said EYEH Soup Kitchen is an NGO run by a group of retired career women, who gather some street children where they feed and counsel them.

As part of the durbar, the children were taken through health screening as well as COVID-19 vaccination. They were also sensitised on child labour, child prostitution, STDs and adolescent pregnancy.

A community dialogue to climax the celebration will be held on 31st August, 2022 at Diaso in the Central Region.

The National Children’s Day was instituted on 31st August, 1979 by the Government of Ghana as a key initiative to seek the general welfare and development of children in the country and to promote the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Source: MoGCSP