Commemoration of International Day for Street Children — Strategic plan on street children on course — Gender Ministry
Stakeholders in child protection and some street children at the commemoration of the day in Accra

Commemoration of International Day for Street Children — Strategic plan on street children on course — Gender Ministry

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MOGCSP) is collating inputs from stakeholders to fine-tune a five-year strategic plan towards ending the menace of children roaming the streets.


The plan is aimed at distributing resources equitably to ensure the safety, health and education of children picked from the streets through collaboration with relevant stakeholders, advocacy and interventions that would help build stronger families.

This came to light at a forum to commemorate the International Day for Street Children in Accra yesterday on the theme: “Safety for all street-connected children”.
It was attended by various stakeholders in the child protection system, as well as some street children. 
The day is commemorated on April 12 every year to provide a voice for children who live on the street. 


The Head of Communications at the Department of Social Welfare (DSW), Kwame Adusei, said the plan also sought to address challenges such as the growing number of street-connected children in cities, weakened family structures, the emergence of second and third generations of street-connected children, the different forms of abuse that street-connected children were exposed to and the absence of a scientific data on street connected children.

The objectives of the plan includes reduction in barriers to accessing essential services by street-connected children, nationwide data collection on children in street situations and the development of guidelines for addressing issues of street children of foreign nationality.

A Deputy Minister of MOGCSP, Francisca Oteng, also said the lack of accurate data on the street children situation in the country made it difficult for planning and programming and, therefore, the need for the synchronisation of data on street children in the country.

“When we have this data, it will help us to know what brought the children to the streets is it somebody who is bringing them to the streets or the children come by themselves?,” she added.

According to the deputy minister, children got exposed to physical and moral dangers when they live on the streets as some of them get abused by adults who were expected to protect and ensure their safety.


The Director of the Department of Social Welfare, Rev. Dr Comfort Asare, said although there had been different data over the years on the number of children on the street in the country, the fact remains that the numbers were alarming.

She said in 2002, the Catholic Action for Street Children, an NGO, estimated the number of street children in Accra to be 19,196, with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations coming out in the same year with a figure of 33,000, while the DSW reported the number to be 61,492 in 2014.

“The MOGCSP, in 2017 was able to count 4,853 children out of which 4000 children were school going-age,” the director added.

Solidarity messages

The Convenor of the Coalition for Street Connected Children, Dr Ernestina Tetteh, said lack of safety in the home had driven many children onto the streets where they were far from safe from individual assaults by peers to high level police brutalities with no hope of finding justice.

For her part, a Child Protection Specialist at UNICEF Ghana, Hilda Mensah, said: “We must work with communities, CSOs and other stakeholders to identify and address specific needs of children to ensure that they are supported and empowered to reach their full potential,” she said.

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