Petition by Children of UWR to the Gov’t of Ghana on the Occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child
In commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child, the children of the Upper West Region have petitioned the government of Ghana and other stakeholders, to as a matter of urgency, implement to the latter, laws and treaties that seek to protect children’s right.
Read below the full petition.
A PETITION PRESENTED BY CHILDREN OF THE UPPER WEST REGION IN COMMEMORATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD FOR 2018 ON THE THEME; “ERADICATING CHILD MARRIAGE AND TEENAGE PREGNANCY, TIME TO PRESS TO THE CHANGE IS NOW’’
We the children of the upper west region, as part of the commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child, wish to salute all children and leaders across Africa in general and Ghana in particular. By this, we the children of Ghana recognize the tremendous efforts that the African leaders particularly the government of Ghana is putting in place to ensure a conductive environment for the protection and total development of children particularly the girl child in Ghana and Africa as a whole. We the children are much aware of the various laws and conventions that African countries have established and signed onto for the protection of children’s right and our total development. In Ghana, we are aware of Children’s Act of 1998, (Act 560), the Juvenile Justice Act of 2003, the Conversion on the Rights of Children, the African Charter, the recent Child and Family Welfare Policy and the Justice for Children Policy are all good steps taking by various governments to protect children.
All these laws and conventions contain adequate provisions to care for the total welfare of children. Unfortunately however, these laws and conversions have not been implemented adequately for the protection of children in Ghana. Children in Ghana particularly the girl child still faces various forms of abuses such as; child marriage, force marriage, commercial sex exploitation, gender base violence, child labor, physical abuse, child trafficking, hunger, deprivation and female genital mutilation. This makes the theme for this year’s celebration “Eradicating child marriage and Teenage pregnancy, time to press for change is now” as more appropriate.
In view of this, we called on the law enforcement agencies and the government of Ghana to;
- Enforce all child protection laws for the welfare of childr5en in Ghana.
- Ensure that the Child and Family Welfare Policy is fully implemented for the welfare of all children living in Ghana.
- Work hard to end child marriage.
- Provide equal educational opportunities for boys and girls,
- Increase budget allocation to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to adequately protect children in Ghana,
- Improve teacher to student ratio in all public schools in Ghana,
- Priorities technical, vocational, agricultural education and training,
- Stop politicians from using children as political tools to incite violence in Ghana and Africa,
- Expand the school feeding programme to cover Junior High Schools as it is done to our friends in the primary and the Senior High Schools,
- Ensure that the Ghanaian media remains committed to exposing the child abuse cases and advocate for justice for children living in Ghana,
- Establish more social interventions to empower families to take good care of their children,
- Stop child marriage, gender base violence, child sexual exploitation and prostitution,
- Take steps to expand infrastructure to solve the current congestion situation in our Senior High Schools,
- Implement the Free Compulsory Basic Education policy for all,
- We are appealing to the President of the Regional House of Chiefs, the Regional Coordinating Council and the Municipal and the District Assemblies to enact bye-laws to better protect children in the Upper West Region.
We take this opportunity to wish our brothers and sisters currently taking their turn in the double track system a good stay in their various schools whiles cautioning those at home waiting for their turn to take very good care of themselves particularly the girls to avoid teenage pregnancy and child marriages.
We also demand for decent jobs and employment opportunities for the youth of Ghana particularly young women. It is our hope that the government of Ghana and other African leaders will take interest in our concerns as children for a better peaceful and prosperous future.
Long live the children of Upper West Region,
Long live the children of Ghana
Long live the children of Africa.