Government has signed a Child Protection Partnership Compact agreement worth $ 5 million with the United States to support Ghana’s fight against child trafficking in the country.
The agreement signed would support trafficking in areas such as Greater Accra, Volta and central regions.
The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur disclosed this at the fourth National Gender Dialogue on emerging child protection issues in Ghana in Accra yesterday.
It seeks to focus on emerging child protection issues in Ghana especially on violence against children.
It also aimed at creating the platform to engage with relevant stakeholders on child protection to identify solutions to child protection concerns.
The programme was organised by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) in collaboration with the African Development Bank and the United Nations Children Fund.
Mrs Lithur said the justice for children policy had also received Cabinet approval and preparations were underway to launch the policy.
“This policy aims to reconceptualise the Ghanaian justice for children system based on need to close the gap between formal and community ways of dealing with justice for children issues to fit in the Ghanaian context,” she said.
“Violence against children in all forms is detrimental to not only the growth and development of the child but also has severe impacts on our progress as a nation”, he added.
Mrs. Lithur said the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit reports that girls were still more affected by violence than boys as a result of socio-cultural and economic factors.
“Statistics from 2010 to 2015 show 6,974 defilement cases against girls and 36 defilement cases against boys within the same period.
She said the child protection baseline research report conducted in 2014 revealed 74.4 per cent of students who had experienced physical harm by a teacher or someone else in the form of punishment.
Mrs Lithur said another emerging child protection issue that needs attention was cyber violence.
She said due to the increased accessibility of the internet with little or no supervision, combating online violence appears a challenge for stakeholders.
The government she said believes that children are the foundation of sustainable development in every country and had therefore made considerable efforts to provide the range of services that promote the survival, growth, development and protection of children.
A Children and Youth Development Advocate, Eugene Odei, in his remarks reiterated the call to protect the rights of children to ensure their development.
He commended the Ministry for their initiative and called on stakeholders to support the cause.
A representative from UNICEF, Ms Susan Ngongi stressed the need to develop a robust base to deal with violence against children in the country.
She assured of her outfit’s continuous support to government in addressing violence against children in the country.
A representative of the African Development Bank, Mrs Marie-Laure Akin-Olgbade said issues on violence against children should be given great attention.
She called on stakeholders to come together to fight the canker in all countries.
By Anita Nyarko-Yirenkyi & Helena Cromwell