General News Fri, 26 Feb 2021

Issues of child protection must concern all - Director

Mr Peter Maala, the Upper West Regional Coordinating Director, has indicated that issues concerning child protection and welfare ought to be a concern for every responsible member of the society.

He said children were subjected to various forms of abuses, including child labour, which was inimical to their holistic development and well-being.

Mr Maala, who is the Chairperson of the Upper West Regional Child Protection Committee, said this at the first quarter meeting of the Committee in Wa on Thursday.

The meeting was to, among other things; develop the 2021 work plan for the Committee as well as to chart effective ways of ensuring that children had access to essential services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Citing child labour as one of the abuses children suffer in the Region, Mr Maala observed that some parents, with the notion of training their wards in apprenticeship, ended up exposing the children to hazards.

The Director stated that such parents did not take into consideration the negative impact of those works on the lives of the children considering their ages and abilities.

“Some parents will tell you they are training their children so that they will take over from them. They don’t consider the age of the child. “These are issues that are nagging, in teaching the child, do you consider the hazards you are taking him or her through?” Mr Maala queried.

He, thus, urged members of the Committee to take a critical look at such issues to ensure children were adequately protected and made to enjoy their unalienable rights.

Madam Matilda Chireh, the Upper West Regional Director of the Department of Children, noted that the Department, with support from stakeholders such as Plan International Ghana, was working to ensure that child-centred policies such as the Child and Family Welfare Policy were fully implemented.

The Committee observed with concern that some parents were pushing their children into apprenticeship rather than encouraging them to be in school, particularly during the COVID-19 school closure.

It said it was a serious challenge in getting such children back to school as they have had some taste of engaging in some activities such as petty trading and apprenticeship.

Mr Christopher Asiedu, the Acting Upper West Regional Director, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, underscored the need for the Committee to take into consideration the cultural values of the society in advocating child protection and rights.

He said there was also the need for media practitioners and journalists to be educated on the appropriate ways of reporting on issues concerning children, so as not to expose the child to danger through their reportage.

The multi-stakeholder committee, comprising government agencies and departments, security agencies and Non-governmental Organisations, was to ensure effective child-centred policy coordination and issues regarding child protection.
Source: GNA