Nat’l Children’s Day celebrated amid recent increase in ritual killings, kidnappings

A Director at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Florence Ayisi Quartey, has cautioned children not to be enticed with gifts and pleasantries as ritual murders and the kidnapping and trafficking of children surge in the country.

She urged them to shout for help if they feel trapped.

Madam Ayisi Quartey was addressing the commemoration of the 2021 National Children’s Day at Jumapo in the Eastern Region on Tuesday, August 31 when she made these comments.

The National Children’s Day was birthed in 1979 to facilitate improvements in the general welfare and development of children and strongly promote the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Theme for this year is ‘Community Sensitization on Awareness Creation on the Role of Community-based Structures in Child Protection’.

Children from basic schools at Jumapo in the New Juaben North municipality shared their views on the expectations of their parents.

”Our parents always shout on us especially in public, we don’t like that.”

Another added, “How do we communicate to our parents of someone wants to induce us if they don’t become our friend”.

Madam Ayisi Quartey commended them for sharing their experiences.

She admonished them to be responsible in their actions and asked parents to have interactions with their children often and protect them.

“Our past experience in intervention and delivery has taught us that sustainable, child development protection and resilience to shocks is only achievable through the development of the role of key community members and groups in the design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation and improvement of initiatives meant to change children’s situations.

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“In view of this, we will continue to use community-based structures such as the chief systems, traditional health, traditional social units etc and actors such as chief and queen mothers.”

She warned school children to stay away from internet fraud, sports betting and vices.

The Eastern Region Minister, Seth Acheampong, pointed out that the Day offers the opportunity to advocate, promote and celebrate children’s rights through discussions and actions that will build a better future for them.

He said Sustainable Development Goal 3 is to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing at all ages.

However, there is still more work to be done in the area of children protection rights.

“Child Right and Protection is a global phenomenon. Ghana recognizes the need for strong and concerted effort in implementing child right and protection policies. It is for this reason that the 1992 constitution established the rights of the child and also provided the framework for the enactment of appropriate legislation to protect the rights of children, fundamental human rights and freedoms including provisions for Child Protection. This position is further enshrined in Article 12 of the 1992 constitution which posits that a juvenile offender must be held separately in custody or detention from an adult offender. Article 28 of the 1992 Constitution list child’s rights to care, assistance, maintenance for development from parents, protection against exposure to physical, moral and health hazards, education or development; not be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

The regional minister called for concerted efforts.

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“I call on all the traditional rulers in our communities to organise durbars on child rights and protection to enhance the importance of child protection in our communities.

“I also call on civil societies and key community-based stakeholders in child protection to support households with vulnerable children to access caregiving and protection. Community and opinion leader must work closely with the relevant institutions and agencies for social service support and to DOVVSU in situations of crimes committed against children.”

By Yvonne Neequaye||Ghana