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General News of Thursday, 3 August 2017

Source: GNA

Government will remain committed to the welfare of children - Minister

Mr Rockson Bukari, the Upper East Regional Minister, has given the assurance that the government will remain committed to the welfare of children.

He said the establishment of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Regional Child Protection networks nationwide with the support of UNICEF attests to the fact that government was committed to the welfare of children.

The Regional Minister said this at the 20th anniversary of the Ghana NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child (GNCRC) held in Bolgatanga,on Thursday.

He said the first six and the sixteenth Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that Ghana was committed to, focused on poverty, ending hunger, good health, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation and peace and justice which were all related to the development of children.

Whilst commending the GNCRC for forming community based organizations in all the regions to promote the welfare of children, the Regional Minister entreated parents to go back to the extended family systems which he said ensured the proper upbringing of children.

Barima Akwasi Amankwaah, the National President of the GNCRC, said one of the major aims of the Coalition was to ensure that equal opportunities were given to each child irrespective of sex, age, race, and geographical location, and education, cultural and religious background.

He said his outfit with support from development partners including the European Union and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Plan International Ghana have implemented many interventions over the years, geared towards the empowerment and protection of children throughout the country.

He cited the Juvenile Justice Project where the Coalition worked together with the Child Rights International and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to ensure that children who come into conflict with the law are protected.

The Coalition together with the Plan International Ghana and the Defiance for Coalition Ghana implemented the Girl Power Project, with support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to sponsor the vocational skills training of some young women and men in the Upper East Region.

“In September 2015, the Coalition with its own resources educated and sensitized CSOs and NGOs on the family welfare policy including over 100 media personnel, all geared towards the protection of children and their welfare. The GNCRC can also boast of 10 regional active child rights clubs”, the National President said.

He said challenges such as teenage pregnancy, forced and child marriages, child trafficking, child labour, weak justice systems among others were inherent in the society adding that the Coalition would not relent in its efforts to mobilize resources to build the capacity of stakeholders to help tackle the menace.

Naa Issah Ibrahim, the Regional President of the GNCRC, said the Coalition which was formed in the region in 2010 has seven active member organizations that have been working to fight child rights abuse as well as support the implementation of the new child and family welfare policy.

The event, which was on the theme: “SDGs for All Children in Ghana and Africa as a Continent: Accelerating Protection , Empowerment and Equal Opportunities”, attracted many stakeholders from the Department of Children, National Commission for Civic Education , Department of Social Welfare and Community Development , CHRAJ , traditional and religious leaders.