Youthlife Africa, a non-governmental organisation, has marked the World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse in Accra with a call on teachers to limit corporal punishment in schools to help end violence against children.
Mr Eric Dodoo, the Headmaster Ford Schools Limited, who made the call, said though the cane was use as means to get pupils and students to be on the right direction in life, its excessive usage was an abuse and violated the rights of children.
He said irrespective of the limitation to the use of canes, teachers must hold school children accountable for their actions to serve as a deterrent to others.
Mr Dodoo said the prevention of bullying was a collective responsibility and urged Ghanaians to work together and be mindful of the importance of keeping their children safe from any form of violence.
He said every child needed proper care and urged parents to be responsible towards their children, adding that bullying occurred when parents, teachers and the society stop paying attention to what was important to the children and shifted focus to other issues.
The Headmaster advised students who bullied children in the name of being seniors to desist from the act as it affected them in many ways.
He also urged parents to be responsible and take good care of their children especially the adolescent ones to enable them live up to expectations.
The theme for the celebration was: “Prevention of Abuse and Violence Against Children and Youth”.
Ms Mary Anoff, Executive Director, Youth Life Africa, organisers of the event, said the rate of child abuse was on the increase.
“We have a rising trend in child labour, child slavery, child battery and child rape among others,” she said.
She said children constituted a critical component of the human resource base in the country whose potential needed to be nurtured and harnessed in a way that would contribute positively to their development.
Ms Anoff called on chiefs and elders to be advocates to the people to uphold the principle of having responsibility for the proper growth and development of the children in the societies.
She also appealed for the collaborative effort between government and other agencies that would help explore innovative ways of implementing the laws on child protection to help solve the canker.
Ms Anoff said the event was aimed at creating a high sense of responsibility among the public towards the prevention of the canker, especially at the time violence against children and the youth were on the rise.
“The goal of the plan is to create a safe environment that protects children from all forms of violence wherever they occur,” she said.
Ms Anoff said: “It is our hope that its implementation will further see progress in dealing with abuse and violence against children in the country.”
Lady Esther Quaye-Kumah, the President and Chief Executive Officer, Peogra Women’s Health Foundation, speaking on children and the abuse of drugs, said according to a survey by Narcotics Control Board, the use of drugs was on the increase.
According to the survey about 50,000 people are using drugs, out of which 35,000 were between the ages of 12-35 years, with most being students, with some still at the Junior High School level.
The survey also indicated that 15,000 adults comprising of 9,000 males and 6,000 females with over 90 per cent of children reported to have been abused in their homes and schools.
Lady Quaye-Kumah said the numbers have increased because child protection laws enforcement had always been a major challenge in the country.