Compassion International Ghana, a non-profit making Christian Organisation, has commemorated this year’s Day of the African Child at Akropong in the Eastern Region with a call on Ghanaians to eliminate worst forms of child labour.
Compassion International, a child-centred organisation, believes in holistic development of children from poor homes by seeking sponsorship from countries all over the world to cater for them.
Mr Padmore Baffour Agyapong, the Country Director of Compassion International, Ghana, made the call at a symposium to observe the day on the theme; “Accelerating Protection, Empowerment and Equal Opportunities for the Children in Ghana”.
The Day of the African Child provides an opportunity for governments, international institutions and communities to renew their commitments towards improving the plight of children.
He said children must not be deprived of their right to education, basic needs and other necessities in their upbringing.
Mr Agyapong said state institutions, community leaders and the entire citizenry were duty bound to help in eradicating the practice to ensure a safe environment for children.
He advised parents to live up to their parental responsibilities by providing their children with basic needs for their survival and development.
Mr Agyapong said access to information on the punishment of such practice must be strewn to the local level for people to be wary of its consequences.
He added that Compassion Ghana had about 287 child development centres across the country supporting more than 75,000 children.
Mrs Alice Prempeh Fordjour, the Headmistress of Aburi Girls Senior High School, in a keynote address, said the right of children were to be secured to prepare them for more responsibilities in adulthood and to ensure fairness and proper care.
She called on member states, national human rights institutions, UN agencies, NGO’s faith-based organisations and the media to expedite action aimed at enhancing the quality of life of children in Africa to enable them gain fulfilment and take up the mantle of nation building.
“I believe every child in Ghana must be taken into account including children with disabilities, children with incarcerated parents, street children, children affected by poverty, children of minority groups, all other vulnerable children and even children living in easier circumstances,” she said.
The symposium brought together 42 child development centres established by the organisation in the Eastern Region to commemorate the day.
The children, as part of activities to mark the day, performed drama depicting their responsibilities, cultural dance, and recited poems.
Awards were also presented to the children who excelled in the quiz competitions.
On June 16 every year, the African Union celebrates the Day of the African Child in commemoration of the 1976 protests by school children in Soweto, South Africa, to ask for quality education.
This resulted in the killing of unarmed young protesters by policemen.