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The government of Ghana launched a new policy here Tuesday to promote child and family welfare.
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The policy, which seeks to re-enforce the role of the family in child upbringing and welfare, was launched by Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur.

?The policy gives government the needed confidence that indeed there will be a difference in our approach to protecting our children,? he observed.

While Ghana has adequate laws and policies on children, stakeholders believe these policies worked in a disjointed and uncoordinated fashion, achieving inadequate results.

?Children continued to experience abuse, violence and exploitation and had recourse to a protection system that only responded when they had suffered some harm,? Amissah-Arthur stated.

According to the Vice-President, it has therefore become imperative to take urgent steps to review the entire child protection system and put in place one that is fit for Ghana and designed to be more proactive in preventing child abuse and exploitation.

?I am proud to outdoor about four years of hard work on the child and family welfare policy. The policy situates the protection of the child in the family, recognizing the role the family plays in the Ghanaian society in forming the child.

?This approach resonates with our cultural and social values. It also recognizes the national and international legal position that the parents and family are the primary care-givers of the child while the state provides the needed support,? Amissah-Arthur said.

Deputy Country Representative of UNICEF Rushnan Murtaza hailed the policy as the first in Africa and a useful guide for other countries, adding that ?it is a very good policy and based on evidence and centered on families and communities.?

Josephine Danteh, a 16-year-old blind student of the Akropong School for the Blind, was elated that at long last a policy was here to protect children.

?Since the olden days, children were suffering from abuse, harassment, neglect, torture and other negative socio-cultural practices in the world and this policy has come and this means that children are free from such socio-cultural practices, ? she said.

Minister of Gender and Social Protection Nana Oye Lithur said the implementation document was also being worked on and would be out before the end of the third quarter. Enditem

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