Ghanaian children on Tuesday called on the government to appropriately implement policies designed to protect children from being forced into acts that deprive them of their livelihoods and interfere with their ability to attend regular school.

As part of events to mark this year’s Day of the African Child, the UN Information Center (UNIC), in partnership with Abibiman Foundation, a local non-governmental organization, hosted 20 students aged between 12-16 years at a mini forum.

The children presented to duty bearers what they would want initiated as a plan of action to improve the lives of children in Ghana.

In a resolution to observe the Day, which falls on June 16, the children demanded that the government prosecute perpetrators of child labor to serve as a deterrent to others.

“As children of this country, we must get justice for being exploited for the benefits of others in the fishing, cocoa, mining and other sectors of the country. When laws are enforced to the letter, child labor will be eliminated because it is a crime,” said the statement which was read by Sophia Adoba, a junior high school pupil.

The Day of the African Child is celebrated in honor of more than 100 schoolchildren who were murdered by the then apartheid South African regime in Soweto in June 1976 while marching to demand their right to quality education.

The African Union (AU), then Organization of African Unity (OAU), in 1990, therefore, chose the Day for member-states to reflect on the plight of all African children and to improve their lives.

This year’s celebration is on the theme of “Agenda 2030: Accelerating Protection, Empowerment and Equal Opportunities for Children in Ghana by 2030”.

The national Information Officer of the UNIC, Cynthia Prah, highlighted excerpts of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to the schoolchildren.

Leonard Ackom, Community Relations Manager at International Justice Mission office in Ghana, a fast-growing international organization working to protect some of the vulnerable and most oppressed from violent forces, called on stakeholders to support the fight against child labor in the West African country. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh