Upper West Regional Minister speaks against abuse of children’s rights

Alhaji Issahaque Salia, Upper West Regional Minister, has observed that living of children on the streets was a manifestation of parental neglect.

He said the “streetism” should be the concern of the society because there were indications that something had gone wrong with the traditional socialisation process.

He therefore called on Ghanaians to re examine the family system and ties and be alive to their responsibilities to address the challenges facing children.

Alhaji Salia was addressing students of Queen of Peace Senior High School (SHS) at Nadoli and Saint Frances Girls SHS at Jirapa to mark the African Union Day dedicated for the African child.

The day was commemorated with a debate between students of the two schools, on the topic: “Are children adequately protected by Ghanaian family to prevent them from being on the streets?”

Alhaji Salia noted that the concept of “We are all one” usually used by the society to resolve the perpetration of crimes was undermining the use of the law to protect the rights of children.

He said children played a key role in sustaining the progress of the future and therefore their moral and social upbringing should be of paramount interest to all or else “We labour in vain”.

“The crusade to protect the rights of children is paramount. Their rights to health and education among others cannot be overemphasised and should be jealously protected.

“Equally important is the need to ensure that we do not loose our social values in the process of protecting the right of children,” Alhaji Salia said.

Mr Israel Akrobeto, Acting Regional Director of Children’s Department, noted that many children were still suffering from parental neglect, abuse, child labour, child trafficking and other forms of exploitation.

He called on stakeholders especially those occupying strategic positions to plan and budget adequately for children to help address the challenges of streetism.

Students from St Francis SHS, who spoke in favour of the motion, emerged winners of the debate and took away a wall clock and assorted text books as their prize. Other items were presented to Queen of Peace SHS.

Alhaji Salia donated GH¢250 to St Francis SHS and GH¢150 to Queen of Peace SHS in appreciation of the performance of the students.

The Children’s Department organised the forum with sponsorship from two NGO’s- World Vision International and Plan Ghana.

Source: GNA

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