World Vision calls for elimination of old customs
The World Vision-Ghana, a child-focused non-governmental organization (NGO), has appealed to the National and Regional Houses of Chiefs to eliminate obsolete customs and traditions that prevent children from enjoying their rights.
It also suggested to Government to formulate a policy to ensure that girls, who drop out of school due to pregnancy, return to the classroom after they have given birth.
A statement signed by Mr Hubert Charles, National Director of the NGO, copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Thursday, said the organization is alarmed at the steady increase in the numbers of reported cases of child sexual abuse from 1,128 in 2002 to more than 1,600 in 2009 recorded by the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit.
The statement was issued to mark the occasion of the Day of the African Child, which is celebrated each year in commemoration with the 1976 massacre of Soweto children, who merely took to the streets to demand their right to racism-free education, in the then apartheid South Africa.
The NGO appealed to stakeholders to make the world safe for every child and also ensure that the rights of every child are protected.
It also recommended that fees for the acquisition of birth registration should be reduced so that every mother would be able to afford the cost of registering her child.
The statement said the day was being promoted by the African Union (AU) as “an opportunity to reflect on the realities of children in Africa”.
It also seeks to draw the attention of AU member states and other stakeholders to their responsibility to respect, protect, promote and fulfill the rights of the child.
The objective of this year’s celebration is to draw attention to the need for eliminating harmful social and cultural practices affecting children in Africa and Ghana in particular.
Other recommendations are the development of standards, guidelines, protocols and procedures to guide social welfare officers, probation officers and child panels in executing their obligations and responsibilities under the children’s Act.
The statement said the NGO is supporting more than one million vulnerable children in 34 districts across the 10 regions of Ghana with quality education, health and nutrition, food security, water and sanitation interventions.