Participants at a child rights workshop, at Bolgatanga, have called on stakeholders to see the rights of children as a major potential tool that could foster national development.
The two-day workshop is being organized by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), a non-governmental organization, working to promote the socio-economic development of the people in the area.
The workshop is to upgrade the knowledge of 50 participants, drawn from orphanages in the Upper East Region, on the rights of children and how they could inculcate these rights into their activities.
The participants noted that children were the backbone of the country’s human resource and that if their rights were respected it would enable them to develop well.
Mr Jonathan Adabere, Director for ISOSEC, noted that child neglect had become common in the region and that it was a growing challenge to the development of society.
He said children grow and become aggressive because they do not know their rights, which can go a long way to affect national development negatively.
Mr Christopher Babooroh, of the Department of social welfare, in Bolgatanga, said to appreciate and respect the rights of the child, it was necessary that one understood the importance of family and parental guidance, as well as familiarizing with the key human rights principles.
Mr Babooroh said parents need to exhibit some level of love, security, emotions and physical attachments to the children, to enable them to build confidence and self esteem as they grow.
The Municipal Principal Social Welfare Officer, Mrs. Mercy Pwavra, stated that, the Child’s act 560 of 1998, provides the best interest for the welfare of every child and said children were entitled to education, protection from exploitation, hard labour, the right to express their opinions as well as the right to refuse betrothal arrangements and forced marriage.
Mrs Pwavra called on traditional leaders to respect the rights of children, especially the girl-child and tasked them to educate community members, including parents, to refrain from forcing their children into early marriages.