Innocent children become orphans by no fault of their own. Poverty, disease, war, abandonment, accidents and natural disasters displaced them. These displaced children need food, shelter, security, nurturing, mentoring and sense of belonging.
These orphans have no one and are the most vulnerable in society. Most are brought up in lives of crime, sold off into slavery, sexually exploited and others turned into child soldiers.
Government alone cannot solve the numerous problems that faces it citizens. Ghana still receives aids from the European Union and other countries, and these countries have well structured charities which support the vulnerable in society including the monetary assistance given to Ghana.
The Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection under Nana Oye Lithur cannot issue ultimatum to operators of orphanages in the country without proper due diligence.
COYLIB believes her motive was of malicious intent. The philanthropic activities of these charitable institutions are enormous; which makes them the ‘saviours’ of the defenseless in complex societies. The world had adapted a way of acknowledging these charitable organisations because of the numerous risks associated with their daily operations. It was a bad precedent under the leadership of Mahama-Amissah administration to have allowed a Minister of state to attack charities and operators of orphanages with gross disrespect without considering their contributions to the country.
Statistics from United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) states that, one thousand seven hundred and fifty (1750) children are orphans everyday, twenty nine (29) per minute and nearly one every two seconds. There are many nations where poverty and lack of social infrastructure means that foster care is non-existent.
United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) urges national authorities and Government officials to ensure that, the best interest of each individual child need to be protected so as the operators of orphanages.
COALITION OF YOUNG LIBERALS (COYLIB) believes strongly that;
• It is the sole responsibility of the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection to write to the 124 orphanage homes operating without licence, and educate them thoroughly by using the best informational and teaching tools.
• The Ministry must use dialogue and explain to the operators of orphanages in the country, the need to register, and their model of operations relating to the schemes under taken per the Hague Convention on children rights and protection.
• The Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection should not use the ‘Ultimatum threat’ as money making exercise.
• The two months ultimatum was inappropriate, and the Minister should have rescind her decision when it comes to humanitarian issues, because the remarks of closing down the orphanage homes comes with greater repercussions which affects Government at large. We hope she will be able to accommodate 124 orphan homes without recourse to public funds.
We are cautioning the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection to tone down because the portfolio created for her is a very sensitive area, that needs responsible leaders to steer the affairs of these orphans in the society as set out in the Hague Convention 1996.
Nana Oye Lithur is using the ultimatum threat as the ‘joker’ to escape the public criticisms whilst human rights had become ‘dirty words’ under her watch in this regime. The Minister and her Government must do what is required before what is befitting.
COYLIB calls for support for the orphanage institutions in the country and urge the operators of orphanages to continue with their humanitarian projects without fear by protecting the human rights of the unfortunate persons living under their care.
Samuel O Donkor (Convener of the COYLIB — +447930069140)
Kwame Owusu (Leading Member, Ghana Chapter)
George Adjei (Greater Ashanti, Ghana Chapter)
Nana Owusu Boakye (Leading Member, USA Chapter)
Justice Appiah Antwi (Leading Member Greater London, UK)
Nana Ansah Oborfour (Leading Member, UK Chapter)
Nicholas Adjei (Leading Member, Sweden Chapter)
Issah Ayumah (Leading Member, UK Chapter)