Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has told the global community that Ghana is taking pragmatic steps to ensure the protection of all its children.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey revealed this in her address during a High-Level Conference to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The celebration was held on Wednesday, 20th November, 2019 in Brussels, Belgium.
Ghana made history by becoming the first country in the world to sign and ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990.
The West African nation’s commitment to institutionalize the Rights of the Child, was further demonstrated when the country’s Legislature passed the Children’s Act in 1998 into law.
According to the Hon. Minister, the Government of Ghana is taking pragmatic steps to address the issue of child abuse through the establishment of a comprehensive legal framework for child protection which is guided by the Constitution and the Children’s Act of Ghana.
She noted that Ghana’s Child and Family Welfare Policy seeks to promote the wellbeing of children, prevent abuse and protect children from harm.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey mentioned that other measures taken to tackle the issue of child abuse and labour with the aim of enhancing the wellbeing of children include: the strengthening of the legislative and regulatory framework; the establishment of a governance framework, which include key sector Ministries, such as the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection), as well as other government Departments and Agencies.
She further mentioned that measures being taken to protect children in Ghana include: the adoption and commitment to national and international action plans such as the National Plan of Action for the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in Ghana (2017-2021); improvements in the school feeding programme, which aims to address child malnutrition, improve the enrollment, attendance and retention of children at the pre-school and primary levels in less privileged communities; the implementation of Free Senior High School (SHS) policy as well as emphasis on Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET); and the implementation of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), which is a cash transfer programme for extremely poor and vulnerable households.
The target groups for LEAP, she revealed, include Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC), elderly persons above 65 years and persons with severe disability without any productive capacity.
BY Melvin Tarlue