law
law

A policy document that would address issues relating to

children who get into contact and conflict with the law, is in its final stages and is

expected to be launched by the end of the year.

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law
The ?Justice for Children Policy?, is being formulated in the ambit of a National Advisory

Committee comprising various ministries such as the Ministry of Gender, Children and

Social Protection, Civil Society and other related Organizations.

Mr. Barima Akwasi Amankwah Acting National Coordinator of Ghana NGOs Coalition on the

Rights of the Child (GNRC) and Member of the National Advisory Committee formulating the

Policy, made this known at a GNRC Zonal Meeting held in Cape Coast on Tuesday.

The policy would, among others, ensure that victims of sexual abuses are not left out in

the justice delivery but also receive some form of counseling, compensation and needed

support so they could be effectively integrated into the society.

Mr Amankwah explained that the formulation of the policy became necessary because more

often than not attention was given to how to punish perpetrators of sexual abuses while

victims were ignored to struggle with the aftermath of the abuse.

He stated that Statistics from the Gender Ministry showed that about 1,296 children,

including six months old babies, were sexually abused in the country last year, adding

that it was an indication that more needed to be done to protect the rights of children.

The Forum, attended by about 20 members of the Coalition from the Western, Central and

Greater Accra regions, was to review the National Child and Family Welfare Policy (CFWP)

and discuss ways to effectively implement the policy.

The CFWP, launched last month, is aimed at establishing an effective child and family

welfare system and focuses on prevention of violence, abuse and exploitation of children

and protection and response to children and families, especially the vulnerable.

It is also to harmonise state-sponsored services with family and community institutions

for protecting children and improving coordination, effective use of resources and

improved data collection and manage information better.

On the policy, Mr Amankwah indicated that Ghana urgently needed a new policy due to some

challenges Ghanaian children faced while growing in their families and communities.

Such challenges, he said, were corporal punishment, domestic violence, child trafficking,

various forms of ritual enslavement, physical and sexual abuse, early marriage and female

Genital Mutilation.

Mr. Amankwah stated that although Ghana had a good combination of international and

national laws on children such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, African

Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Children?s Act, 1998 (Act 560), Juvenile

Justice Act, they had not worked in harmony.

He said other reasons for the formulation of the policy was because there was no detailed

national guiding framework for providing child and family welfare services.

To address the challenges, he said the priority areas of the policy would focus on child

protection issues due to family conditions, child maltreatment, problems faced by older

children such as drug abuse and children who have committed offences.

Strategies for implementation, he said, would include the boosting of community structures

to protect children, supporting vulnerable children and families, improving child and

family welfare services, providing care for children not living with their families.

Others are to regularly coordinating activities, collecting and managing information,

empowering children and young people, empowering families through dialogue and interaction

to change behaviours and attitudes, and providing resources and training.

The rest, he said, was to collaborate and work with civil society organisations and NGOs,

revise the relevant laws and policies to be in line with the Child and Family Welfare

Policy, identify the needy and advocate sufficient financial, technical and human

resources.

Mrs Josephine Konadu Kodua, the National President of the Coalition, entreated members to

work assiduously and in unity to ensure that the goal of the policy was achieved and

rights of children protected.

Source : GNA/newsghana.com.gh

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