Stringent child protection policy soon
The Government is developing a stringent child policy to protect the interest of children and give them a good start in life, Madam Helina Obeng-Asamoah, Acting Director of the Department of Children’s Affairs (DCA) has said.
She explained that the policy when completed would complement the existing institutional and legal frameworks, which include the Children’s Act, the Criminal Code Amendment Act, Juvenile Justice Act, Human Trafficking Act and Domestic Violence Act, to ensure the sound and safe development of children.
Madam Obeng-Asamoah, who was speaking at this year’s International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC) held in Tamale on Friday, said no child should suffer any form of abuse, punishment or torture.
The celebration, brought together girls from various basic schools in the Northern Region, and was held on the theme, “Innovating Your Future: Empower Young Women through Technology”.
The IDGC focuses on the need to address the challenges girls face in society and the promotion of girls’ empowerment, as well as the protection of their rights.
Madam Obeng-Asamoah said one of the surest ways to protect and support the development of girls was to provide sound education, which would enlighten them to make informed choices in life.
He said, “While many girls in the country especially those in the rural communities are held back simply because of their gender, others who are able to make it face discrimination and violence.”
Mr Bede Ziedeng, Northern Regional Minister said if given the necessary push and opportunity, children could positively influence the nation’s economic, social and moral circumstances.
Mr Sanday Iddrisu, Acting Northern Regional Director of DCA said educated girls were less likely to experience abuses such as, violence or forced marriage and would contribute meaningfully to the development of the family, community and the nation.
He said “We need to focus on girl child education because it sets them on path to greater economic opportunities and participation in their societies. Education is the way to go because it helps transform the future of girls and aids them to identify their potentials.”
Mr James Asdem, an Operations Team Leader at World Vision called for the strengthening of institutions to effectively enforce existing laws which forbid harmful social norms, promote girls’ rights and create opportunities for them.
He appealed to government to revise certain legislations such as the National Personal and Family codes to increase the minimum age of marriage for girls to 18 years to reduce the incidence of early marriage.