The members of the House with dignitaries in a group photo after the event.
The National Children’s Parliament (NCP) has called for the full implementation of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child which establishes global standards to ensure protection, survival and development of all children without discrimination.
According to the members of the House, although the country has made great strides in the implementation of the treaty, there was still more to be done to ensure every child develops to their full potential.
They therefore advocated for the opinions of children to be considered in decision making, the increment of the age for sexual consent from 16 to 18 years to curb sexual exploitation of children and access to more learning materials. The House also called for an end to child abuse, child trafficking, child labour and child marriage.
Acting Director, Department of Children, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Florence Ayisi Quartey, addressing the House constituted to commemorate the World Children’s Day, said the government and its partners have implemented several policies to improve the welfare and wellbeing of Ghanaian children.
“Efforts have been taken to reduce incidence of child marriage, female genital mutilation, child trafficking, child labour and its worse forms and improve access of the general public to information on the rights of children. More children than ever have access to free compulsory basic education and free senior high school,” she said.
She also indicated that the health status of children have improved with more children having access to basic health services, adding that through social protection interventions such as LEAP, Ghana School Feeding Programme, more children are being supported to move out of poverty.
UNICEF Country Representative, Anne Claire Duffey, in her statement to the House, expressed her gratitude to all children for their contribution so far in national development and the right of children in the country.
She said COVID-19 has affected children, particularly by the closure of schools and limited access to social services, and therefore called on the government and partners to ensure children continue to learn by opening schools with safety measures in place and closing the digital divide, and guarantee access to health and nutrition services to every child.
World Children’s Day is celebrated every year on November 20, to give the platform to children to share their views on issues affecting their development and give them the opportunity to highlight solutions for consideration and action.
The national theme for the 2020 celebration is ‘Re-imagine a Better Ghana for Children’.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri