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Regional News Sat, 10 Mar 2012

GNCRC calls for strong political will to enforce laws on children

The Upper West Regional branch of the Ghana NGOs Coalition on the Rights of the Child (GNCRC) has lauded the Government for reforming Ghanaian laws on the child to align with international human rights standards on children.

The Coalition particularly mentioned the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 1998 (Act 554), the Children’s Act 1998 (Act 560), Child Rights Regulations 2002 (LI 1705) and the Juvenile Justice Act 2003 (Act 653).

It is however worried that despite the legislative and policy achievements, it was still clear that enforcement of laws and implementation of policies remained a huge challenge to the government’s ability to comply with national and international obligations to ensure child rights and gender equality.

Mr. Augustine Tugbog, the Focal Person for the GNCRC, who was addressing a symposium organized as part of the International Women’s Day Celebration in Wa, called for strong political will and commitment towards law enforcement and policy fulfillment to secure an enabling environment for the security and development of the child.

The symposium which was organised by the Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) and Youth Action on Reproductive Order (YARO) brought together over 150 young people mostly girls and women resident in the Wa Municipality.

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Mr. Tugbog stated that it was disheartening to note that almost all relevant government institutions such as the Departments of Children, Social Welfare, and Community Development as well as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) that existed to promote and protect the rights and welfare of children and women were faced with serious resource challenges.

This, according to the CEDEP Programme Officer, may suggest why there were still many child and women abuse issues in the Upper West Region especially, sexual violence, some of which had laid before the courts without action for far too long.

Mr. Tugbog lamented that women performed 66 per cent of the world’s work, produced 50 per cent of the food but earned only 10 per cent of the overall income and one per cent of property.

He therefore appealed to all to project issues of women and children across board as they continued with the celebration of Ghana’s 55th Independence.

Mr. Yussif Salifu Kanton, the YARO Programme Coordinator, gave an overview of the International Women Day Celebration; its significance for the empowerment of women in Ghana.

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He said it is a “day” that seeks to rally support and advocate for gender and equality.

It had since its inception grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration of the rights of women across developed and developing countries alike.

He encouraged women and children to speak out when violence was being perpetrated against them, noting that it was an abuse of their fundamental human rights and the perpetrators must not be left unpunished.

Source: GNA