AU Committee scrutinises Ghana on Rights of the Child

AUCGhana is among three other nations appearing before the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, 28 Ordinary session and the 12 Pre-session of the Committee meeting at The Gambia.

Ghana would respond to issues raised by the Committee such as the implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

The other countries are, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, and Cameroon who are also expected to defend and present reports on issues raised by the Committee.

The Committee is a group of 11 individuals of high moral standing, integrity, impartiality and competence in matters of the rights and welfare of the child, which are mandated to monitor and report on the fulfillment of child rights issues in Africa.

Mrs Della Sowah, Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, who is leading Ghana’s delegation, explained that Ghana presented the first and second consolidated report with issues covering 2005 to 2015.

She said government made a promise to optimise the realisation of children’s rights when it ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990.

The ratification of the Convention set the stage for improving the general conditions of children in Ghana through legislation, policy formulation, programme and project implementation, research, monitoring and evaluation with respect to quality care.

Mrs Sowah noted: “It is the firm belief of Ghana that the report findings will serve not only as assessment material, but also an encouragement to governmental and non-governmental institutions, parents, community leaders, and other relevant child caregivers to continue to fulfil the rights of the child, always ensuring the best interests of the child when dealing with all matters that affect children”.

The report assesses the progress made by government with regards to the advancement of implementation and the status of children in terms of adherence to the principles of the African Charter and United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It focuses on the realisation of their rights and freedoms at home, school and all other places in, which they often found themselves, and the provision of their needs.

It chronicles responses of child-focused state institutions in their efforts to ensure children’s rights and improve their access to quality education, health care, social welfare, protection and all other areas that affect child development from 2005 to 2015.

The report reveals modest achievements made and challenges encountered by government and its partners to address important needs and gaps of children in the enjoyment of their rights in Ghana.

It also responds to certain important observations made by the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the previous reports submitted by Ghana to the Committee.

Mr Kwesi Armo-Himbson, Chief Director Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection stated that since Ghana had not submitted its initial report, the current report covered three periodic stage – the initial, which was due on July 15, 2007; the first which was also due for submission on July 15 2010 and the second which was due on July 15, 2013.

He explained that in order to implement measures that relates to child rights Ghana a number of institutions have been established or strengthened.

He said the creation of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection had assumed a new and expanded mandate to ensure gender equality, promote the welfare and protection of the child, and to empower the vulnerable.

Mr Armo-Himbson said the mandate also focused on the aged, people with disability and other social groupings who holistically considered in national developmental plan.

The Committee within the framework of the commemorative activities to mark 2016 as the “African human rights year, with particular focus on the rights of women”, is meeting in Banjul, Islamic Republic of The Gambia.

The Committee is examining Complementary Reports from Civil Society Organisations of State Parties to the Charter.

The Committee draws its mandate from Articles 32-46 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which was adopted by the Heads of State and Governments of the OAU on July 11, 1990 and came into force on November 29, 1999.

Source: GNA

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