Accra, June 16, GNA - Mrs Gifty Twum-Ampofo, Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has assured that government would continue to lead to ensure the rights and welfare of children are promoted and guaranteed.
According to her, the Ministry intended to hold a national durbar to create the platform for all children and stakeholders to interact with policy makers, professionals and social workers to forge a lasting collaboration.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo made the assertions when she presented a statement on the floor of Parliament on the occasion to commemorate the 2017 African Union Day of the African Child.
The African Union Day of the African Child started in Soweto, South Africa, on June 16, 1976 during the Apartheid era when thousands of black school children launched a peaceful protest to draw attention to their poor quality education and demanded the right to be taught in their own language.
Hundreds of young boys and girls were shot and killed in the two weeks of protest that followed and more than a thousand were injured. In memory of those killed, every year the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child chooses a theme for each year.
In Ghana the activities lined up to mark the day include a press conference, statement in Parliament and a National Durbar at the Children’s Park on June 16, 2017 and also regional durbars.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is: “The 2030 agenda for sustainable development for children in Africa: Accelerating, protection, empowerment, and equal opportunity”.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo also stated that there were a number of Sustainable Development Goals that were directly provided for in children’s rights instruments such as the one on free and compulsory primary education, the reporting requirements under child rights instruments, as well as the SDGs framework are mainly intended for the purpose of holding governments accountable.
She said Ghana has strengthened its legislative environment by adopting new legislation such as the Human Trafficking Act 2006 (Act 715) among others.
She said the nation has also demonstrated its commitment to international obligation by ratifying the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the involvement of children in armed conflict, the protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking persons, especially women and children etc.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo further stated that in order to achieve the rights and welfare of children the government intended to pay particular attention to some SDGs with clear linkages to the charter.
She noted that generally there has been reduction in poverty in Ghana, especially reduction at the household levels which has direct effect on childhood poverty.
She said the significant reduction has been possible as a result of policy and programme interventions by government such as LEAP, MASLOC etc.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo also stated that the Ministry would continue to expand the school feeding programme to encourage enrolment of children in school at early stages.
She said programmes like the free mass transit ride for school children, free uniform and free exercise books would continue to ensure no child was left out of the educational drive.