General News of Sunday, 28 June 2015

Source: GNA

Ghana signs Child Protection Compact with America

Ghana signs Child Protection Agreement with US

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the United States has signed a five- million dollar Child Protection Compact at the Flagstaff House in Accra.

The compact was signed on behalf of the country by Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social while Mr Gene Cretz US Ambassador initialed for his country. The signing was witness by President John Dramani Mahama.

Nana Oye Lithur said Ghana was selected because of the country’s “strong government commitment, existing inter-ministerial framework and active civil society fighting child trafficking”.

She said Ghana has proved that it has the potential to reduce child trafficking through improved coordination and enhanced investigations and prosecutions.

“Ghana’s legislative and policy framework for child protection has been strengthened over the past two and a half years with the Human Trafficking Legislative Instrument and the Domestic Violence Legislative Instrument forwarded to the Parliamentary Subsidiary Legislation Committee for consideration.

“Cabinet has also approved a Child and Family Welfare Policy. Furthermore, a national campaign against early and child marriages with support from UNICEF and the Netherlands has been launched,” she stated.

Mr Cretz acknowledged the fight against modern slavery as “a priority for both Ghana and the USA”.

He said the signing of the Child Protection Compact Partnership is a significant step forward for both countries toward the elimination of child trafficking.

President Mahama said he is happy that such a compact has been signed, saying: “It will allow children in Ghana to receive protection from the state.”

The five- year partnership would bolster the efforts of Government and civil society organisations to address child trafficking and forced child labour.

The programme would be implemented through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection with Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations.

The programme contemplates developing jointly with Ghana new and more effective policies and programmes to reduce child trafficking and improve child protection in Ghana and address issues such as child sex and trafficking.

Cabinet recent approved a memorandum for the ratification of the 1993 Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoptions; amendment of the Children's Act; and, establishment of the Child and Family Welfare Policy.