November 19, 2020 3:45 am
The Department of Children under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with UNICEF, World Vision International, Plan International Ghana, International Needs and other Partners have organised the World Children’s Day on 19th November, 2020 at the GNAT Hall, Accra. Ghana’s celebration took place with the second session of the National Children’s Parliament.
The celebration was under the theme; “Reimagine A Better Ghana For Children”. The main objective of this year’s celebration was to listen to the views and inputs of children on issues affecting their development and give them the opportunity to highlight solutions for consideration and action.
In a statement read by the Ag. Director for Children, Mrs. Florence Ayisi Quartey on behalf of the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Cynthia Mamle Morrison, they are in the process of submitting Ghana’s 6th and 7th Report to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and according to the report Government and its partners have put together several measures in place to improve the welfare and wellbeing of children in the country.
She said efforts have been undertaken to reduce incidence of child marriage, female genital mutilation, child trafficking, child labour and its worst form. She added that there have been improved access to information on the rights of children.
Mrs. Florence Ayisi Quartey was happy to announce that children have access to free compulsory basic education and free Senior High School and that Government through Ghana Education Service has introduced Child Friendly Safe-School programming aimed at making the school environment safe for children.
She said, “health status of children has improved with more children having access to basic health service, through social protection interventions such as LEAP, Ghana School Feeding Programme among others”. Adding that more children have been supported either directly or through their guardians to move out of poverty.
The Ag. Director for Children, however acknowledged that there are challenges facing children, especially the level of violence they experience on a daily basis which is not acceptable.
She therefore called on all to join the Ghana Against Child Abuse Social Drive to help kick out abuse from Ghana. Mrs. Florence Ayisi Quartey on behalf of the sector Minister, congratulated all children in Ghana for their contribution in National Development and the rights of children in Ghana. She charged them to be game changers in development wherever they may find themselves.
UNICEF Country Representative-Ghana, Anne Claire Dufay, said the education of children are particularly affected during this COVID-19 pandemic because of the closure of schools and limited access to social services. She therefore called on Government to ensure that children continue to learn by opening schools with safety measures put in place.
She said the best way to discipline children is by engaging them in conversations and granting them listening ears during discussions but not through violence. Madam Anne Claire Dufay reiterated UNICEF’s support to government by ensuring that citizens have access to good health care facilities, potable water, good sanitation amongst others.
She expressed gratitude to MoGCSP for the implementation of LEAP which is a cash transfer system to the vulnerable and other social protection programmes.
She said together, ‘let us continue to take action and contribute to a better country and a better world for children’.
Plan International Ghana-Country Representative, Mr. Solomon Tesfamariam, expressed his gratitude to all partners and implementing agencies for their diverse roles in ensuring the welfare of children. He also called for an improvement in the judiciary system of Ghana and the need to stiffen punishments that are meted out to abusers of children. According to him it will help reduce the rate of such cases drastically.
Mr. Richard Ananga, World Vision International-Ghana, have also advised parents to grant their children the opportunity to partake in family gatherings and make contributions.
He was of the view that good training programmes for teachers alongside provision of good teaching and learning materials will help improve the quality of education.
World Children’s Day is being used as a day to call for action for children by children. In line with this, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is therefore calling on all stakeholders to use the ensuing year to work towards a better Ghana where children’s rights are respected and promoted.
The Ministry is also entreating all to ensure that children adhere to the COVID-19 prevention protocols at all times, and protect them from abuse and exploitation during this era. The Kwame Nkrumah Gardens has also been lit blue this evening of 19th in support of the promotion of children’s right in Ghana for a better Ghana.