Ghana on Wednesday joined countries across the world to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The event was organised as a prelude to the main celebration of the World Children’s Day held on November 20.
Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCS) said the celebration of the World Children’s Day was to mark the signing of the CRC, which sought to provide civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.
The minister in her address, called for renewed energy in the fight for the rights of the child, saying, “As we light up this gate, we call on all in Ghana to renew their commitment towards the protection of all children and to ensure that all rights due them are fully implemented.
“We also call for a new area of adequate resources for child protection issue, for responsible parenting, full implementation of laws protecting children and an era where children live in happiness and peace,” she added.
Mrs Morrison concluded by saying that Ghana as the first country to rectify the CRC, would always be dedicated to protecting the rights of children.
Mrs Marie-Pierre Poirier, West and Central Africa Regional Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), noted that Ghana had made significant progress in the ratification of the CRC.
Adding that, under-five mortality rate had reduced by 60 per cent, life expectancy increased by an average of six years and the country had halved poverty and developed a robust protection programme.
“However, despite these achievements, Ghana continues to face challenges, with 28 per cent of children living in poverty, and many children facing inequalities with regard to where they live and many children with disabilities remain the most vulnerable,” the Director added.
“The world’s children, Ghana’s children, are relying on us as duty-bearers, government, teachers, parents, to play our role and uphold our commitment to defend their rights,” she charged.
Mr Prince Yaw Tetteh-Cole, a student of St Barnabas Anglican Basic School, representing the children of Ghana, pleaded with government, stakeholders and policy makers to abide by the CRC treaty and protect the children as they were the future leaders.
BY FREDERICK GADESE-MENSAH