Lack of child maintenance, begging for alms retard children’s development – Research
Lack of child maintenance and begging for alms popularly known among Muslims as “Almazeeri” have been identified in the Upper Region as some of the disadvantages that militate against child development.
Others include giving young girls out early for marriage, early fosterage and children working to fend for themselves.
This was revealed at a validation workshop on Wednesday in Bolgatanga on findings of a baseline research conducted in the Builsa and Bawku Districts.
The findings are to contribute to the design of a new National Policy Framework to inform on child and family welfare service delivery in the country.
The research, which is being carried out by Participatory Development Associates, is guided by the Ministry on Gender, Children and Social Protection, in collaboration with the government of Ghana and UNICEF.
Mrs Georgina Amidu, Communication for Development Officer, UNICEF, said though Ghana had made strides in child protection issues, the system still called for a holistic approach to protect the country’s children from violence.
Mrs Amidu said Ghana placed 12th in relation to child violence conducted in a multiple indicator cluster survey with close to 90 per cent reporting having experienced violence.
She outlined Ghana’s failure to a wide disconnection between laws and practices, overlapping roles, unclear mandates and roles of stakeholders and total absence of national policy framework on child protection.
Mr Amidu said consultations with child protection stakeholders was ongoing throughout the country to deepen the credibility of the findings of the study through local support and bring together a group that would connect at the regional levels to support the child protection system design and implementation process.
She said the draft of the new policy that is expected to be in place by December 2013 would come out with realistic sustainable and culturally appropriate system based on a dynamic partnership between the formal system and communities.
Mr Pontius Pilate Apabey, Regional Director, NCCE, expressed gratitude for the efforts to come out with the policy and noted that stakeholders’ multidisciplinary inputs was needed to make it successful.