‘Make Department of Children autonomous’

Dr Angela Dwamena(inset),addressing the participants at the workshop

Dr Angela Dwamena(inset),addressing the participants at the workshop

Dr Angela Dwamena, the Executive Director of the Ark Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, has urged government to separate the Department of Children from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP).

She said the autonomy of the Department would allow it to properly address challenges facing children.

Speaking at a knowledge sharing workshop on child protection yesterday, she indicated that the ministry with its limited resources would be unable to properly succeed in its child protection mandate if the three departments are still amalgamated.

Dr Dwamena was addressing participants at a one-day workshop on child protection organised by the Participatory Development Associates (PDA), a social development organisation.

She explained that the ministry was preoccupied addressing other challenges therefore the Department needed autonomy because; “issues of children were so immense and needed time, resources and efforts to address them.

She recounted how previously the Ghana National Commission on Children (GNCC) existed and was in-charge of the general welfare and development of children.

The Commission, Dr Dwamena indicated took into consideration all matters relating to children, which included health, education, streetism, child trafficking among others.

She, therefore, urged government to consider the proposal, so that issues affecting children could be resolved.

A Programme officer of MoGCSP, Aperkua Aboagye said the ministry has over the years outlined some operational plans which would help address the challenges facing vulnerable children.

She said even though the government was gradually improving such vulnerable children, the statistics has not depicted a good and desirable situation.

Ms Aboagye said a fundamental fact that promotes and encourages child abuse and other violence against children would be attributed to some cultural practices and social norms.

She called for collaborative efforts by stakeholders to address the menace.

The Principal Consultant of PDA, Tony Dogbe speaking on the theme; “Ghana’s child protection system: bridging the gap between research, policy and practice” said despite significant strides made through policies and programmes, many children in Ghana remained trapped in harmful experiences that threaten their safety and sometimes damage their childhood.

He envisioned a fairer world where all classes of people have the chance to live a decent life and to pursue their dreams to the fullest, without been impeded by socio-cultural, economic and physical barriers.

By Benedicta Gyimaah Folley

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