Thirty five School pupils from various Junior High schools in the country on Tuesday marked this year’s international day of the Africa child.
They also called on the United Nations, government, Civil Society Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, academia and relevant stakeholders to partner and engage children in order to raise public awareness of their relevance and contributions to sustainable development.
The children also demanded that government should prosecute perpetrators of child labour in the country to serve as a deterrent to others, saying, ‘as children of this country we must get justice for being exploited for the benefit of others in the fishing, cocoa, mining and other sectors of the country’.
“When laws are enforced to the latter, child labour will be eliminated because it is a crime,” they noted.
The children who were drawn from schools in Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta regions gathered at the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) where they were educated on their rights and responsibilities.
Organised by Abibiman Foundation, International Day of the African Child and Youth Ghana and UNIC, it was under the theme; Accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities for children in Ghana by 2030.
Miss Sophia Adoba, a form two pupil from Community seven Number two Junior High School who read the speech on behalf of all children in Ghana called on government to implement policies designed to protect children from being forced into acts that deprived them of their childhood.
She also called for an end activities that interfered with their ability to attend regular school thus; mentally, physically socially or morally dangerous and harmful including but not limited to child marriage.
She encouraged government to create the enabling environment by providing the needed infrastructure and facilities to enable children of school going age to get access to quality education.
Mrs Cynthia Prah, National Information Officer who educated the children on the various child rights said it was expected that children would grow to be responsible citizens and urged all children to know their rights, take education serious and make their voices heard.
Mr Leonard Kobina Ackon of the International Justice Mission told the GNA that a study carried out by the Mission in 2015 observed that 800 children were on force labour on the Volta Lake, adding that out of the number 58 per cent are believed to be trafficked.
He said child traffickers paid out a pittance to parents in order to move children from one place to the other, adding that children had the right to speak out indicating that any child that was deprived of his dignity should be given justice.