October 1, 2019 4:49 pm

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection led by the Minister, Hon. Cynthia Mamle Morrison on 1st October participated in the 2019 Ghana NGO Forum held at the World Bank Auditorium, Legon.

The event was organised by O Africa in collaboration with the Department of Children, under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection with support from the European Union on the theme “Preventing Child Neglect: whose Responsibility?”.

In his opening remarks, the Deputy Director of O Africa, Mr. Mawuena Hayibor said the forum is aimed at enhancing public discourse and dialogue on child rights and also to improve the capacity of child rights defenders, local communities and other Civil Society Organisations through advocacy and awareness creation initiatives.

He stated that, majority of children in Ghana still experience unacceptable levels of physical abuse at homes and in schools and as a way to curb it, O Africa embarked on an awareness campaign to educate the general public about the rights of children. His hope however is that, the sensitization exercise will go a long way to reduce child abuse and issues in Ghana.

Mr. Mawuena Hayibor made a passionate appeal to government to increase budgetary allocations for the improvement of child protection related issues.

Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation, Mr. Pieter Smidt Van Gelder in his statement said the European Union seeks to improve the rights of children, women and persons living with disability since all deserve to live a meaningful life.

He also admitted that, children are still suffering from child abuse, child labour and child neglect in Ghana. He called on Civil Society Organisations and parents especially to join hands in protecting and promoting the future of children.

In her keynote address, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Cynthia Mamle Morrison stated that, child neglect is the failure to provide adequate healthcare, clothing, shelter, educational and emotional safety needs since provision for the needs of children is everyone’s responsibility.

She added that, the Government of Ghana has assured its commitment in matters that protect the rights of children both nationally and internationally. This she said is evident by the fact that, Ghana has been the first country to ratify the UN convention on the rights of the child.

As a result of Ghana’s ratification, the Hon. Minister said, government has shown its commitment towards the protection and promotion of children’s right through the passage of laws such as the Children’s Act, Juvenile Act and the Human Trafficking Act. “All these laws are being amended to suit the current trend of protecting the children” the Minister stated.

She further stressed that, there are provisions that will protect the children from being neglected either by the parents or the state.

The Gender Minister also noted that, government in collaboration with its partners and support from UNICEF have strengthened the child protection system by formulating child and family welfare policies which place the child at the centre of the family and the community. Thus, making the protection of the child everyone’s responsibility.

She further said, the National Social Protection policy provides mechanisms to protect persons living in situations of extreme poverty, related vulnerability and exclusion including persons living with disability through some of its intervention programs such as LEAP, Capitation Grant, NHIS, Free Maternal Care, Free School Uniforms and School Feeding Policy.

She informed participants of the forum that, Ghana has adopted the Inter Social Standard Operating System for child protection issues. This she said will track issues relating to the abuse of children.

On behalf of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, The Minister thanked non-governmental agencies and partners involved in the protection and promotion of the rights of children in Ghana.

Source: MoGCSP