Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Confab to promote wellbeing of children

Archbishop Palmer Buckle

Archbishop Palmer Buckle

The Ghana Catholic Bishop’s Conference (GCBC) is to roll out a policy to promote the wellbeing of children, prevent abuse and protect children from harm.

The strategy would be adopted by all Catholic churches across the globe as a lay down foundation to address issues of child abuse.

It would afford parents, guidance and all stakeholders to provide basic needs of children, and advocacy to end activities and practices negatively impacting children.

The Most Rev. Gabriel Charles Palmer- Buckle, the Vice President of GCBC, speaking at a durbar on child protection awareness in Accra yesterday said, the rationale for the policy was to provide guidance to the reform of child and family welfare programme and activities.

Organised by the Centre for Human Development (CEHUD) in partnership with with GCBC, the meeting brought together various stakeholders including representatives from Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), Ministry of Education (MoE), some executives of GCBC and parents.

It was under the theme, “Protect us from abuse: Contributing to the awareness on child protection”.

He said the policy would also aim at empowering children and families to better understand abusive situations and make choices to prevent and respond to situations of risk.

In a speech read on her behalf, the Director of the Department of Children at MoGCSP,  Madam Florence Quartey, said the Ghanaian society was transforming and families were becoming nucleated, however, child maltreatment in Ghana were on the rise.

According to research, she said child maltreatment was quite alarming, adding that findings from the Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS) in 2013 found that 23.4 per cent of children aged 5 to14 years were engaged in some form of economic activities.

However, to curb this menace Madam Florence Quartey called for a concerted effort to change community attitudes that run contrary to the legal policy framework of the Children’s Act 1998(Act 560).

The Director of CEHUB, Fr Emmanuel Mensah, in his submission, expressed optimism that the forum would provide the opportunity for children and young people to share their views and hold governments, international agencies and other actors accountable for the efforts being made at eradicating these harmful practices.

By Benedicta Gyimaah Folley and David Takyi

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