Statistics indicate that there are about 60 thousand children gallivanting the streets of Accra and Kumasi alone.
Child Rights Advocate, Olivia Umoh who is also Director of Step-Child Advocacy of the Catholic Arch-Diocese of Kumasi says these children should be in the classroom instead of sleeping in the streets.
She was speaking with Radio Ghana’s Rebecca Ekpe as Ghana marked the 30th Anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.
On this Occasion, a Coalition of NGOs are asking government to ensure that the protection of child rights is mainstreamed into the national discourse in 2021.
Thirty years ago, Ghana made a historic commitment by being the first country in the world to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – an international agreement on childhood and the basic rights that every child is entitled to.
However, the NGOs are asking?, ”is there a reason to celebrate? Still today, not every child in Ghana gets to enjoy a full childhood. Too many children and youth are still deprived of their basic rights; the right to a safe home, the right to education and health care, the right to be protected from violence, maltreatment and abuse. Children that are living and working on the streets are particularly vulnerable” Madam Umoh lamented.
She said Ghana was the first to rectify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ”we also came up with the Children’s Act to make it practical in our concept and then currently, I think around 2017, we came up with the Family and Child Welfare Policy, which also addresses children’s issues in our country, but the practically of it is our problem, where we are lagging behind” the Child Rights Advocated noted.
Madam Umoh pointed out that ”it is up to our generation to demand that leaders from government and communities fulfill their responsibilities and take action for child rights now, once and for all.’’ explained Olivia Umoh, Director of Safe-Child Advocacy, one of the leading organisations of the coalition.
He reiterated that that duty bearers must commit to making sure that all children in Ghana can enjoy their basic rights, ”let us join forces and work together to achieve this laudable goal” She adds.
The following organisations are part of the coalition calling on government to make the protection of Child Rights a priority in 2021 an beyond; Safe-Child Advocacy; Centre for Development and Advocacy Policy-Ghana; Centre for Initiative Against Human Trafficking; Muslim Family Counseling Services; Service Awareness Support Organization; Song-Ba Empowerment Centre; Starlight Foundation; Urban Poor Child Organization; Vulnerable Aid Organization-Ghana; and Adamfo Ghana.
STORY BY: REBECCA EKPE