By Cecil Mensah
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, has advocated the need for the establishment of parent classes to groom parents to be proactive in handling the needs of their children.
According to her, by so doing parents would be in a better place to understand the behavioral challenges of their children.
She explained that, even a one -week compulsory parenting classes will help teach parents how to take care of their children since children these days are living in a globalised environment with unsuitable challenges.
The Minister made this comment at a day’s stakeholders meeting with religious leaders and faith -based organizations on the Child, Family and Social Protection organized by the Ministry in collaboration with United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) in Accra.
She stressed that this would go a long way to strengthen the family and lead to a well support for the child.
She said the family was considered as the bed rock of the Ghanaian society and the child’s identity is determined by being part of the family or clan so the family plays a key role in the welfare and upbringing of the child.
She said in addressing the challenges of child welfare, Ghana has progressive legal framework but poor implementation.
“Juvenile justice not integrated into broader justice system and these laws have failed to take local context into account hence the lack of linkages between formal and informal service provision for children” she said.
She said the National Population and Housing Census had the youth as representing fifty -eight per cent, a situation that put it that twenty percent of the population are below the age of fifteen and twenty-four years.
She added that in line with this that Ghana passed the Children’s Act, 1998(Act560), Juvenile Justice Act, 2005 (Act653), the Domestic Violence Act 2007 (Act732).
The rest are the Human Trafficking Act 2005 (Act694) and the Criminal Code, 1960 (Act29) have all been promulgated to provide a strong legal and policy framework for the protection of children in the country but to avail as child abuse, labour and marriages continue unabated.
However, children continue to face tough challenges although poverty has been halved from fifty-one percent in 1991 to twenty-four percent in 2006, this country continue experience pockets of poverty in the three Northern regions hence child welfare challenges.
On her part, the Country Director of UNICEF, Madam Susan Egosa, was hopeful that the faith – based organizations will dialogue on the sensitive issue of the right of the child to correct the situation of the alarming child abuse issues.
She said, even though Ghana has all the laws, children continue to experience increasing abuse.
By Cecil Mensah