Sunyani, Sept. 04, GNA - The Child Protection Alliance Ghana (CPA Ghana), a network of civil society organisations has called on the government to resource state agencies and public institutions working to promote child protection services.
It said public institutions like the Department of Social Welfare, Department of Children, Legal Aid, and Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) needed resources to function well.
CPA Ghana works to improve the overall well-being of children in the country through rights-based and strategic advocacy approaches.
A statement issued and signed by Hussein Rahman, the Interim Steering Committee Chairperson and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani said inadequate financial resources coupled with other logistics constraints impeded the work of the child protection institutions.
“Government budget is mostly for recurrent costs and this affects the implementation of child related programmes, while budgetary allocations to key Ministries, Departments and Agencies with mandate for child and family welfare are largely inadequate”, it said.
“The National Legal Aid Scheme is expected to provide free legal services for vulnerable persons including; children; however, they are also faced with inadequate human and logistical resources at both the regional and district levels”.
It therefore urged the government to ensure provision of adequate human, technical and financial resources required for the functioning of the Child and Family Welfare System at all levels.
“This will help such institutions and agencies to design child and family welfare programmes and activities to prevent and protect children from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation”.
The statement said girls and boys still experienced frequent and multiple forms of physical, emotional, verbal abuse and torture.
According to the statement, the “2013 UNICEF Child Protection baseline research report indicates over 57 percent of children aged 14 and 17 years have been beaten at home all the time, while 34 percent confirmed being beaten in school by their teachers”.
“Matters that impede the prevention of violence against children include; social norms accepting and promoting the use of violence in schools, homes and other institutions as an effective way to manage the behaviour of children”.
It explained the network was currently designing a programme that would promote and provide a safe environment and peaceful co-existence for children in conflict-prone areas and to provide children an opportunity to undertake peace-building and non-violence initiatives.
The project would enhance human security by developing local capacity for holistic community-based approach to child abuse prevention, it explained and added the network would work in partnership with community-based and child-focused organisations to enrich and complement advocacy skills to create opportunities for children to be active participants in child abuse prevention.
It therefore appealed to international organisations and donor partners including UNICEF, UNESCO, Plan International, Care International, World Vision and Save the Children to support the network to implement the project.