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 Ghana NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child (GNCRC),has  added their  voice on the various interventions spearheaded by the Government of Ghana through the various Ministries ,Departments and Agencies.
 They however congratulated the government particularly for the successful initiatives geared towards the spread and containment of the
Coronavirus disease.
“On behalf of the Children of Ghana we say thank you very much for your wonderful efforts.
Furthermore, on the coronavirus 19 pandemic, there is an increase in the number of cases among children.
Currently, five (5) children have died as a result of the pandemic and many others
continue to be infected. As to how they were infected is not known because their parents or guardians have not tested positive so it is quite worrying to know that the children are infected.
This also suggest that parents are neglecting their primary responsibility of taking very good care of their children and protecting them from getting infected.
Beyond the rise of infections among children by the pandemic, there are other concerns associated with the above-mentioned subject that need your immediate attention and response.
Specifically, the rise in abusive and violent behavior against children reported in the media requires immediate attention.
Chronologically, I want to bring to your notice a few of the issues for your attention;
1. On 15th day of April 2020 at Manso Yawkrom, in the Amansie West district of Ashanti
region fifteen years old girl was defiled and her clitoris bitten by the offended. The
offended has been has been jailed for 7 years.
2. On 4th day May 2020, in Thantei community in the Krachie West district, Oti Region, a
step father in his late 30s severely beat his 8 years old son causing a lot of torture and
body scares to this little child. Reasons given for this abuse is that, the 8-year-old boy
went to play with his friends after fishing. The father has been arrested. What is most
worrying is the psychological torture these children are experiencing at the hands of their
abused parents. This calls for immediate stiffer punishment to perpetrators of such
inhuman acts.
3. On 10th day of May 2020 at Kumasi Buokrom Estate, 26 years father severely beat the 3-
year-old child and currently the child is at the Manhyia hospital. The father is currently
on bail waiting for next court hearing.
4. On 16th May 2020 at Obom, in the Central region a father cut the fingers and ears of his
10 years son and the father is currently in the police cell waiting for hearing.
5. There is also in circulation a video showing four (4) girls who are allegedly broke into
someone’s house and picked some items to be sold to the public. The most worrying
aspect is the police officers who are expected to know better, allowed the filming of these girls exposing them to harm and danger as this is against the optional protocols to communication which Ghana is party to it alongside the Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC) and the Africa Charter on the Rights and Welfare of Children.
 This is not to condone the action of the girls but rather handling the case in a manner that will not expose the girls to further harm since they are juveniles and there are protocols for handling such cases involving children and should be handled as such in the best interest
of the children involved.
Respectively, we are calling on the Ministry of Interior through the Ghana Police Service to bring to book those officers who permitted or took those
videos for circulation exposing the children to danger and harm.
Very alarming is the selling of nose mask on the streets. When the President lifted the restriction on movement and gave the directives on the nose mask wearing, there is tremendous increase of children on the streets selling nose mask day and night which is also worst form of child labour and violates the rights and welfare of children.
Generally, there are lot of unreported child rights abuses, violations and exploitation to the extent that majority of parents/guardians are so much interested in their economic needs than
the care of their children.
Even though we cannot fault them for doing so, we however believe that parents/guardians should not do that at the expense of their children’s safety and development.
The silence of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection
(MoGCSP) and other key agencies is a bit worrying and we demanding an update from the Ministry on their follow up on all these cases since it falls within their per-view.
As a matter of urgency, we would like the government through its ministries to act quickly on the following;
1. The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) through the
Domestic Violence Secretariat should begin to conduct regional, district and community education on domestic violence including child rights, abuse and exploitation of children
and improve avenue for reporting of child protection issues.
2. The Regional, metropolitan, municipal and district assembly security council should include Child Protection issues in their respective briefing and urgently address emerging issues as a matter of urgency.
3. The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and one of their office Community for Development should intensify its community education using the Child
Protection Community Facilitation Toolkits – Communication for Development (C4D)
toolkits to intensify education with community members on how to prevent these issues
emerging from the communities.
4. The Ministry of Interior through their Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit(DOVVSU) should collaborate with community members and opinion leaders to quicken the process of prosecution in-order to serve as a deterrent to others who have the intent to abuse the rights of children in their respective homes and communities.
5. The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and its partners should engage with the media to intensify education on child labour so as not to find more children on the street even after the total lighting of all restrictions.
6. The Ministry of Information through their regular updates should include child protection issues on the issues for information and educate the masses on child abuse prevention and abuse situations in the communities since overall, it is economic prudent to prevent abuse and exploitation than allowing it to happened.
Please, note that the psychological cost of damages to a child cannot be quantified therefore, we should All as
Citizens do everything within our means to prevent this child rights abuse and violations at all levels so as not to damage the future of our beloved children.
It is anticipated that if we do the following and many others, we shall be able to prevent child
rights abuses, violation and exploitation within our communities and give our children a better future.
Please, for any further information or clarification please, do not hesitate to contact me on
mobile number +233208170608 or email barimaakwasi@hotmail.com
Thank you very much for your cooperation and attention.
Yours faithfully,
BARIMA AKWASI AMANKWAAH
(NATIONAL COORDINATOR, GNCRC)
Source: Broadcastergh.com/Ayisah Foster

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