An anniversary to celebrate 30 years of the ratification of the Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC), by Ghana, was held yesterday in Accra.
Organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the event also celebrates Ghana as the first country to ratify the convention soon after its adoption in November 1989.
It also served as a platform to discuss the future of childhood in the country.
Addressing the gathering, Cynthia Morrison, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection said since the ratification of the CRC, the country had used the convention to strengthen the Children’s Act 1998, Act 560, Juvenile Justice Act 732, Human Trafficking Act 694 and Domestic Violence Act 732.
Madam Morrison added that the Child and Family Welfare policy and Justice for Children policy were adopted in 2015, to improve on the living conditions of children in the country.
She explained that the CRC was an international treaty adopted by the United Nations (UN) to ensure the protection, survival and the development of all children without discrimination.
Madam Morrison indicated that, as a signatory to the treaty, Ghana had pledged to protect children from economic, sexual exploitation, violence and other forms of abuse.
She added that there was the need to overhaul child protection systems in the country following a survey conducted from 2010 to 2013.
The sector minister said the obligation of the country to provide free primary and secondaryeducation, capitation grant, and school feeding programme would encourage more children to attend school.
She commended key stakeholders for their contribution towards the ratification and implementation of the CRC.
Madam Henrietta Fore, the Executive Director of UNICEF said one out of every five children in the country was stunted saying “many children do not have access to clean water and sanitation”.
“Too many still face the barriers of poverty, discrimination and inequality and we must continue to move from advocacy of children’s rights to realising these rights.” she added.
Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi, the chairman of the parliamentary committee on Gender and Children said the rights of millions of children are violated every day.
He added that the rising levels of child poverty and inequality, teenage pregnancy, lack of educational and livelihood opportunities, child labour among others were some of the few rights of children that are abused in the country.
BY ABEDUWAA LUCY APPIAH