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Ghana praised for child rights protection

Nana Oye Lithur Minister Mic

The Vice-Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Ms Amal Salman Aldoseri, has commended Ghana for its efforts in working towards the realisation of the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Giving the closing remarks after the committee had deliberated extensively on Ghana's third, fourth, and fifth Combined Report on the Implementation of the CRC at the ongoing 69th Session of the UN Committee at Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland, she said there was the need for the State Party to do more to ensure the full protection of children and the realisation of their rights.

Ghana's report

Ghana's report, which touched on varied issues related to the country's efforts in promoting the rights of children through social intervention programmes to alleviate poverty, access to education, health care and child welfare policies and dealing with traditional practices that affect the rights of children, generated a wide range of questions from members of the committee, who sought clarifications on the issues raised by the State Party and measures being put in place to address the concerns raised.

The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection and leader of Ghana's delegation to Geneva, Nana Oye Lithur, and her team of experts from the ministry, health and educational sectors, social welfare officers and a representative of the Non-Governmental Coalition on the Rights of the Child, provided responses to the issues raised and promised to furnish the committee with other detailed documented reports, for better clarification of the issues.

The minister’s delegation also included Madam Laadi Ayi Ayamba, Chairperson of the Committee on Gender and Children and Member of Parliament (MP) for Pusiga; Madam Gifty E. Kusi, Ranking Member of the Gender and Children Committee and MP for Tarkwa Nsuaem, and the Deputy Permanent Representative of Ghana in Geneva, Mr Ebenezer Appreku.

Children with disability

Ms Aldoseri asked a question on children with disability, who she said were victims of violence, stigma and abuse and dehumanising practices and also did not have access to inclusive education.

Responding to the question, an educationist with the Ministry of Education, Mr Ernest Otoo, said one of the pillars of the country's 2007 education reform was Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) that guaranteed free and compulsory basic education, with the inclusion of kindergarten education.

He also said currently, a five-year education development improvement plan was being implemented to, among other things, enhance access to quality education and inclusive education, adding that sensitisation programmes were also ongoing to train teachers and other people operating in the education sector to be sensitive to the needs of children with disability.

In her remarks, Nana Lithur expressed the country's gratitude to the UNCRC for the opportunity granted her and her team to have fruitful dialogue and interaction with the committee on issues raised in the State Party's report and expressed the hope that the committee would furnish the country with its observations "to help strengthen our legal policy framework and other policies, projects and programmes, for the attainment of the CRC".

Government's commitment

She said Ghana was the first of the 195 countries to ratify the CRC and added that the government of Ghana was committed to allocating resources in accordance with its mandate to ensure the welfare and rights of children and formulate policies for their development.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr Benyam Dawit Mezmur, in his remarks, described Ghana's team to the session as a multi-sectoral representation, and pointed out that as a developing country, Ghana needed every support to achieve the goals of the CRC.

Eritrea, Mexico and Honduras have presented their reports, in addition to Ghana’s, and Ethiopia, The Netherlands and Israel are also expected to present theirs. The committee will hold a series of closed-door meetings, and the closing session will take place on Friday, June 5.

source : ghanaweb
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