Ghana: Presidential candidates must present child policy framework

Accra, June 11, GNA – Children’s Rights International, a non-governmental organization, on Wednesday called on all presidential candidates contesting the 2008 election to present their child development policy to Ghanaians.

In a statement signed by Mr. Bright Kweku Appiah for the organization, it said children constituted 52 per cent (0-18 years) of Ghana’s population and that presenting the frameworks would enable Ghanaians to access them on how their policy would target the children. It said by virtue of Ghana’s commitment towards children at the international, regional and national level it had become necessary for flag bearers of all the political parties to let Ghanaians know their vision for children in order to protect the inherent dignity of children in the country and campaign for fair and good life for children. The statement said the policy frame must cover education, healthcare/nutrition, promotion of children’s rights, maintenance, rehabilitation, respect for child’s dignity, discipline implementation and enforcement of policies in Ghana. It should also include financing of social welfare for effective delivery of their mandate as enshrined in the 1992 constitution. It said the policy must be documented and presented to Ghanaians to enable them to believe in their policy direction for children, pay attention to child development and their welfare, have an assurance for the future, ensure proper participation of children in national issues, and define and measure progress being made in children in the country. The statement said though Ghana was a leader in children’s welfare and protection, children in the country were facing serious problems such as child mortality, school dropout, child labour, child trafficking, rape, defilement, and non-maintenance of children. It said over 800,000 children were not in school while 50 per cent of them who sat for BECE in public schools never got admission to Senior High Schools. It added that, there was an increasing gap between the urban child and rural child in terms of access and quality of education.

According to the statement, there were over 240,000 children who had been rendered orphans and vulnerable as a result of HIV/AIDS, and 21,000 of them were currently living with the condition. “Stigmatization and non-acceptance of these children within the family structure makes them more vulnerable and prone to harm.” The statement said the process of administering the law in the country had made maintenance and rehabilitation process slow, adding that, there had been a number of child related cases in the courts for three or more years for which judgement had not been delivered. It said children who were victims of defilement and rape did not receive care and support from the court by way of the law outlining the care and support processes. The care for survivors of these circumstances did not get the needed support and care required for their maintenance and rehabilitation.

Source: GNA

Published in: on July 23, 2008 at 1:38 pm  Leave a Comment