As Ghana joins the rest of the World to mark World Children’s Day on the theme “Investing in our future means investing in our children” amidst the devastating effects of the Corona Virus on children, RISE-Ghana is urging the global community from the state to non-state actors safeguard their future by increasing investment in children and to urgently to take stock of progress in preventing and ending all forms of violence and abuse against children in Ghana.
The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a child rights crisis. The costs of the pandemic for children are immediate and, if unaddressed, may last a lifetime (UNICEF)
The Ghanaian child can not wait to achieve their full potential and their best interest in line with the spirit of the SDGs and the CRC.
The effect and cost of child abuse brought about by the COVID-19 crisis is enormous and includes short term and long term consequences as well as increase financial burden.
In the short term, consequences include medical issues and the need for social interventions.
Long-term consequences include compromised physical health, absence at school, and psychological impact on the child with its attendant loss to national development.
Available evidence from UNICEF indicates that child abuse in Ghana was estimated at more than USD200 per year, an equivalent of 1% of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
94% of children aged 1-14 years experienced some form of violent discipline- this indicates a highly unprotective environment for children.
Government, Traditional/Religious Leaders, Health Workers, mandated state agencies CSOs and the media must adopt a systems approach and take pragmatic efforts to fully ensure all children are registered at birth, ensure effective role and implementation of national policies and frameworks such as the Nurturing Care Framework, Child Marriage Action Plan, Family and Welfare policy as others to ensure that the best interest of children are fully adhered to.
World Children’s Day is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare. November 20th is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child – (UNICEF)
World Children’s Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote, and celebrate children’s rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for children.
RISE-Ghana wishes to use the occasion to thank our partners and donors such as the European Union, Oxfam Ghana, WILDAF Ghana, UNICEF-Ghana, CDD-Ghana/Hewlett Foundation, and the Australian High Commission in Ghana for the huge technical and financial investment over the years to create a protective environment for children.
Let us invest in our children to secure our future.
Awal Ahmed Kariama