Ghana will soon ratify the “Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography”, Mrs. Akosua Frema Opare, the Chief of Staff, has said.
This would ensure that State parties prohibited and criminalised the offences to protect children.
The Chief of Staff said this when UNICEF Ghana joined the rest of the world to commemorate its global 75 anniversary in Accra on the theme: “Celebrating UNICEF at 75: Promoting Children’s Rights”.
With support from UNICEF, other UN development partners and civil society organisations, she said, there had been a significant improvement in fighting child marriage, child sexual exploitation and abuse through the Cyber Security Act 2020 in the country.
Mrs Opare said Ghana would, therefore, ensure that investments in children were prioritised not to leave any child behind.
She commended UNICEF for the consistent support to Ghana in protecting the rights of children and their wellbeing.
“We need to share and it’s in sharing that humanity shows up that we are one destiny, one continent, one world and one people,” she said.
Mrs Opare said a critical look at the initiatives by UNICEF showed significant achievement in the quality data it produced with the Ghana Statistical Service and National Development Planning Commission to provide technical assistance to strengthen integrated systems across various fields.
The Chief of Staff expressed gratitude to UNICEF for its contribution to Ghana’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic through the procuring of vaccines, vaccine storage equipment, and provision of technical assistance to the Ghana Health Service in the COVID-19 prevention campaign.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, said children were to be the first in line of investment and budget allocation as Ghana responded to the pandemic.
“We have a strong resolve to build a nation that ensures that its children are cared for and supported,” he added.
Ms Anne Claire-Dufay, the UNICEF Country Representative, said promoting gender equality, access to improved equal services, and improved gender-based analysis were the hallmark of UNICEF and reiterated the commitment of her office to help protect children’s rights nationwide.
“UNICEF never gives up even as we go through many challenges in many countries. We are determined to reach each child despite those difficulties,” she added.
Mrs Florence Ayisi Quartey, the Director of the Department of Children, also commended UNICEF forthe strategic partnership to enable children access rights to education, basic health, food, and speech, among others.
She also lauded the Fund for helping set up Ghana’s children’s parliament.
Ms Mavis Hanu Kwashiwor, a form two student of Mawuli School, Ho, in an address on the topic: ”Reimagining the Future”, enlightened the public on the rights children were entitled to enjoy.
“Children are to enjoy their rights no matter how they look like, whether with or without a disability, no matter who their families are, and what their families believe in,” she said.
The visually impaired teenager condemned the practice where some parents hid their children with disability and said they had amazing potentials that could be unearthed if they were shown love and given a push.
Ms Kwashiwor, referring to the recent murder of two teenage boys in Abesim, a suburb of Sunyani in the Bono region, appealed to parents to take better care of their children and not leave them at home on their own or in the care of others.