Nana Oye Lithur addressing the gathering
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur has entreated religious leaders to join the crusade to protect children in Ghana.
Nana Oye urged the leaders at a consultative meeting to use their platforms and positions to spread the message of child protection.
She noted that since about 94 per cent of the population are religious, the religious leaders should collaborate and ensure the protection of children.
‘You are being requested to harmonize your efforts with other institutions such as the District Assemblies and civil society organizations in developing unified preventive and response mechanisms to child protection issues where your branches and affiliates are based,’ she said.
The sector minster said the country has very good legal, political and institutional foundations yet children continue to face tough challenges because the policies were not being implemented.
‘Nearly one in every five children in Ghana is engaged in activities that could be classified as child labour,’ she said.
‘Children bear the brunt with incidences of malnutrition, lack of access to education, healthcare and health services, which negatively impact on their care and development,’ she observed.
The Child and Family Welfare Policy
The ministry, as part of efforts to address the gap in coordinating the programmes, undertook a mapping exercise with its developing partners which revealed the true state of the child protection system in Ghana.
In response to the findings, the ministry commenced work on a comprehensive political framework to meet the needs of Ghanaians.
The draft National Child and Family Welfare policy, to be finalized this year, recognizes the importance of the family in the development of the child, and is aimed at ensuring that services are available for children and their families in difficult times.
Nana Oye added, ‘We will urge you to assist in disseminating this policy and other major national policy documents affecting children, women and persons with disabilities from your pulpits, mosques and all other places where your faithful gather to listen to you.’
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri
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