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Employ collective approach to tackle issues affecting child protection

The Central Regional Department of Children under the Ministry of Gender, Women and Social Protection has called for collective efforts to enhance children’s protection and tackle the related challenges.

Madam Grace Kensah, the Assistant Programmes Officer at the Department, said violence against children was widespread in in Ghana and described the situation as “worrying and devastating,” which needed all stakeholders’ support to address.

Speaking at the Second and Third Quarter Regional Child Protection Committee meeting, she said working together and sharing information and expertise would help deal holistically with the challenges.

It would also ensure effective implementation of laws and regulations on child protection, he said.

The meeting, organised by Department, brought together representatives from the National Youth Authority, the Ghana Health Service, Ghana Education Service, the Legal Aid and the Narcotics Control Commission.

Others are the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), the National Commission on Civic Education, and Compassion International, Ghana.

Madam Kensah said discussing child protection related and emerging issues confronting children and finding solutions to them was very crucial in these difficult times.

She appealed to stakeholders to avail themselves and help to deal with problems among the vulnerable.

Mr David Allan Paintsil, an Assistant Director at the RCC, noted that issues concerning children had become critical and needed pragmatic solutions to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

He said parental neglect had contributed to the surge in child abuse hence the need for parents to be responsible for the upkeep of their children.

Mr Paintsil encouraged the use of the mother tongue in educating children to help them understand messages and information to put them into practice.

“Let’s encourage the use of Ghanaian Languages in sensitising children to get them to understand what we teach them,” he added.

Madam Alice Erzah, the Deputy Head, Education and Counseling Unit, Narcotics Control Commission, advised the stakeholders to step up advocacy on effects of drug addiction, which was on the rise, to help stem substance use among the youth.

Intake of alcohol, tramadol, and tobacco, among others, was high among the youth between ages 15 to 35, most of them being senior high students, she said.

Also, frustration and poverty were major contributory factors leading to teenage mothers using drugs, which endangered their lives and that of their children.

Mr Reuben Bannerman, Assistant Registrar, Oguaa Traditional Council, said child right laws must be in conformity with the culture of the country to raise responsible youth for the future.

“Formerly elders could correct children who misbehave on the streets but now due to this child rights thing no elderly person can put children they do not relate to on the right path when they go wrong,” he noted.

Parents and guardians must be friends to their children and wards to encourage free flow of information and create room for experience sharing.

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