Government outlines strategy to protect children
Government outlines strategy to protect children Website
A Draft Social Protection Strategy to protect the vulnerable and children has been prepared, President John Agyekum Kufuor said on Wednesday. In a speech read for him at this year's national Children's Day, President Kufuor expressed the hope that the new strategy would help reduce the risks faced by the vulnerable, protect their rights and enhance their contribution to national development. The celebration was on the theme: "Ghana at 50, the future of children". President Kufuor said the framework would update existing policies and provide guidelines for improved social development performance to bolster economic growth and the development of children and the vulnerable. He said the state of orphans and vulnerable children in society today were frightening and called on civil society to join hands with government to ensure good care for them. "Priority attention should be given to child protection issues including intensified special programmes to eliminate the worst forms of child labour and child trafficking, child abuse, commercial sex exploitation of children and streetism", he said. Mr. Kufuor said his government would continue to play a lead role in charting the path for integrating, maintaining and development of children and their potentials. He said the new education reform was adopted to make school attendance accessible and obligatory for all children and also ensure quality standards especially in the basic level, adding that the government had built nearly 5,000 units of new school blocks in the country. President Kufuor said considerable progress had been made in improving the health status of Ghanaians, particularly children, adding that life expectancy has increased from 58 percent in 1998 to 60 percent in 2004. Mr. Edwin Gamadeku, Regional Director of the Department of Children, said as part of community involvement in the protection of children, his outfit was setting up Child Protection committees in selected communities to help reduce streetism, child labour and irresponsible parenting in society. He said the committees would also help create a healthy environment for children's development.