General News Mon, 1 Sep 2008

Ghana makes a move in child rights

Bolgatanga, Sept. 1, GNA - Research findings from the Children's Department of the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC), has revealed that Ghana is making strides in combating child survival and development issues. This was made known during a regional dissemination workshop, organized by the Department of Children, for stakeholders including civil society organizations, district assembly members, the media and traditional authorities.

The research, done between 2002 and 2006 indicated that issues including child labour, child trafficking, streetism , child abuse among others had been reduced as compared to the past years. The findings also indicated that the right of children to education had also improved remarkably, as many children were being enrolled in schools. It however stated that the quality of education was not good, while child survival posed another major problem that needed to be addressed, as about 80,000 children died every year before they reached five years of age. The research findings said malaria was one of the leading causes of infant mortality. It also said there were some harmful socio- cultural practices including the "trokosi system", and giving priority to boy child education, while neglecting the girl that contributed to poor child development. It recommended that traditional authorities develop pragmatic measures to nib in the bud negative cultural practices affecting child survival and development.


Mr Sylvester Kyei-Gyamfi and Mr Israel Akorobortu both researchers of the research unit of the Children's Department, who presented the findings explained that in 2002, world leaders at a summit held in New York under the UN Special Session on Children, adopted a five year progress report on the implementation of issues affecting children dubbed, "World Fit for Children" and to continuously review and improve upon it.

They explained that the main aim of the programme was to eliminate all issues affecting children by 2015, and appealed to all stakeholders to help in this direction. Participants appealed to government to adequately resource all agencies dealing with children's welfare to effectively discharge their functions. Mrs Mariama Yahaya, Regional Director of the Department of Children, explained that children were the greatest asset of any nation and all efforts must be made to ensure that they are given a good upbringing to enable them contribute effectively to national development. 1 Sept. 08

Source: GNA