Some schoolchildren in the Tamale metropolis have called on the government, state institutions and the Ghanaian adult population to do more to protect children and create a safe environment for them to grow and realise their full potentials as future leaders of the country.
The children also called for the removal and ban of all negative cultural and traditional practices that militate against the growth and welfare of children in Ghana.
The schoolchildren supported by some child focused non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the Northern Region last Friday embarked on a procession through some principal streets in the Tamale metropolis to mark the International Day of the African Child.
Addressing a symposium at the Tamale Sports Stadium on Friday, June 16, 2017 to mark the day, the Country Director of the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), Mr George Baiden, in a welcome address, noted that although there were some laws for the protection of children, enforcement remained weak and had not been made appropriate to curtail the numerous abuse of the rights of children in the country.
Mr Baiden, therefore, called on the government to equip and resource state institutions tasked to enforce laws on child rights and protection while the government and all other stakeholders take steps to build a solid foundation for development that would reduce poverty, guarantee rights and ensure fair and equitable distribution of national resources at all times.
The WASH specialist and acting Chief of Field Office at the UNICEF office in Tamale, Ms Gloria Nyam-Gyam, who spoke on child protection status, issues and concerns in Ghana, observed that in attaining the targets set in the SDGs and development at all levels, there was the need to include children in all our development efforts and also protect them from violence, abuse and exploitation as well as empower them to take actions that would enable them to achieve their dreams and equal opportunity regardless of their race, location, sex, ethnicity, religion among others.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Sa-eed, in a speech read for him, pledged the commitment of the government to do more to ensure that the rights of children were protected and laws enforced in the country.
The celebration was organised under the auspice of the Department of Children, in collaboration with World Vision International (WVI), Campaign for Female Education (Camfed), Right to Play, Regional Advisory Information and Network Systems (RAINS), Plan Ghana, Actionaid and CCFC, which are all child-focused NGOs, to protect and empower children for equal opportunities by 2030.