Give children a voice in parents’ divorce cases – Child advocate
The Executive Director of Child Rights International, Mr. Bright Appiah has advocated for a policy, which will enable children to participate fully in their parents’ divorce processes considering the harm that annulment causes to children.
Mr. Appiah raised this concern on Monday at the maiden edition of the Thriving Child Seminar Series (THriCSS) organised by Compassion International Ghana (CIGH), an NGO advocating for the comprehensive development of children and youth in the country.
On the effectiveness of the policy, Mr. Appiah said it would enable the two parties who want to go their separate ways think twice about the decision that they want to take since there is a third person who will also have a say in it.
“I raised that issue of designing a policy to make sure children participate in the divorce cases of their parents based on the harm that divorce is causing to our children,” Mr. Appiah said.
He continued: “We cannot continue to grant divorce on the basis of two people for the child to suffer the consequences of that action later. We have to make sure that children also have a say in the determination of such processes”.
Speaking on the theme “Policy Framework on Children: The Law and Practice”, Mr. Appiah noted that about 80 per cent of challenges facing children’s welfare and protection were as a result of divorce and broken homes hence the need for a policy which will give children a voice in the determination of divorce processes.
“The best interest of the child in such cases must also be projected. It is important that we look at divorce from the perspective of the child rather than the two people who are saying they want to go their separate ways,” he emphasized.
In a welcome address read on his behalf, National Director of CIGH, Mr. Kobina Yeboah Okyere noted that after nearly two decades of operation, his outfit had encountered various hurdles in ministering to children and young people.
“Thus, this initiative will provide a platform for seeking solutions with similar organisations which are serving the needs of children and youth in Ghana,” he said.
“As a leader of this organisation, I carry a profound commitment to the well-being of our children, and each day serves as a reminder of the immense responsibility we bear in safeguarding their rights, nurturing their potential and ensuring their protection under the law,” Mr. Okyere added.
Compassion International Ghana is a Christ-centered, child-focused, and church-driven organization dedicated to releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name. CIGH currently cares for over 97,000 children. Through sponsorships and donations, they empower local churches to provide holistic care to children in extreme poverty.