Legal Resources Centre (LRC), a nongovernmental human rights organisation, has launched the ‘Child Justice Project’ to create an enabling environment for the protection of children.
The three-year project, supported by the European Union (EU), is to bridge the gap between legislation and practice within the Ghanaian Child Justice system.
It is aimed at ensuring the right input to facilitate the review and amendment of child related legislation for the promotion and protection of child rights.
Mr Clarke Noyoru, the Project Coordinator, at the launch in Accra on Wednesday, said children’s right protection was a serious challenge confronting the country.
“That is why this initiative has come to seek the reformation of laws, policies and procedures to improve access to justice for children, especially the Juvenile Justice Act, 2003 (Act 653), the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560) and its amendments,” he said.
The Project would also focus on the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), the Criminal Code and other offences (Procedure) Act,1960 (Act 30), the Courts Act,1993 (Act 459) as amended, as well as other child related legislation and regulations.
Mr Noyoru said this would provide legal assistance to at least 350 juveniles in conflict with the law in all 10 regions of Ghana during arrest, investigation, pre-trial, trial and committal stages.
Ms Daphne Lariba Nabila, the Executive Director of LRC, said the Project, at the end, was expected to strengthen partnership among stakeholders in the justice for children system.
She said effective collaboration was needed most to move the Project forward and called on stakeholders to give the Centre the needed assistance to achieve success.
Mrs Helena Obeng Asamoah, the Director, Department of Children at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, said even though Ghana had established comprehensive systems for the protection of children, they were still faced with injustice.
She called on the various ministries to coordinate their administrative practices towards children’s development.
Mrs Angelina Mornah Domakyaareh, a Justice of the Court of Appeal, called for systems that ensured children grew in the right environment.
She said with this system in place, it would make children respect others’ rights and coexist with their neighbours to promote a peaceful society.
Mr Joseph Bogrebon Allan, the Programme Manager of the EU, said human rights were central to the EU adding that it would focus on results and measure the impact of the Project.
He said children’s rights were the most abused and for that reason the Union would focus on the Project to ensure success.
The LRC is an NGO committed to the realisation of human dignity by building human right capacities.