In a move to ensure its success, the Ghana NGOs Coalition on the Right of the Child through the 2019 Ghana NGO Forum has called on the Government of Ghana (GoG) to increase the budget allocated for child protection in the country.
It is worth noting that the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was signed in 1990, however, the Committee of the CRC has observed GoG still does not fully comply with what ought to be done for vulnerable children.
In the light of this canker, OAfrica, in partnership with the Ghana NGOs Coalition on the right of the child organised the 2019 Ghana NGO Forum funded by the European Union. It was held under the theme, “Child Protection: Whose Responsibility?”.
According to the Committee, Ghana needs to “prioritize and substantially increase the budgetary allocations in the social sectors, ensuring implementation of the economic, social and cultural rights of children, particularly for the improvement of health-care services, education and protection of vulnerable groups of children.”
Furthermore, in his submission to the Ghanaian Parliament, on his government’s Coordinated Programme for Economic and Social Development Policies (2017-2024), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo stated that, “technical and financial resources will be prioritized at all levels, to ensure effective implementation of child protection and family welfare programmes.”
In 2017, 72.6 million Ghana cedis was allocated for child protection of which, shockingly, only 33.1% was disbursed.
However, these child protection allocations are critically important as they address the needs of the most vulnerable children, and the economic benefits of preventing abuse or addressing existing abuse are substantial.
The Committee demand that Government increase the amount destined to child protection in the 2020 and subsequent budgets and that the budget should subsequently be entirely disbursed to adequately fund and implement the existing plans and policies particularly in the key areas of Birth Registration, Alternative Care, Justice for Children, Child Marriage and Child Sexual and Reproductive Health.
The Ghana NGO Forum therefore require that the Government live up to its responsibilities by increasing the budget allocations for child protection in Ghana and fully disbursing the entire child protection budget.
In her keynote address, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison, disclosed that, “Child neglect is the failure to provide adequate health care, clothing, shelter, educational safety, emotional safety and all that it entails. Providing for the needs of children is everyone’s responsibility.”
She noted that, as government needs to play its part in providing the necessary legal and policy framework that seeks to ensure that children do not lack in their basic needs, parents and the community also needs to provide the immediate needs of the children in their care.
“I’m happy to tell you that, all these laws are being amended to suit the current trend, protecting children. And there are provisions to protect children that are being neglected either by parent or the state,” she added.
Source: Yaw Sarpong | PlugTimes.com