Ghana would be 62 years old on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 after gaining independence from her colonial masters. But it is sad to know that, the independence and the welfare of most Ghanaian children is better left untold as children in the country suffer all forms of abuses including child trafficking, defilement, physical torture among others.
One thing that has accounted for this and ensured its reoccurrence is the fact that most of these abused children have had less or no persons to protect their basic rights and freedoms.
Ghana has some laws for the protection of children, however, enforcement remains weak and laws have not been made appropriate for the context. Violence and abuse of children, including sexual abuse, remains very high with over 90% of children reporting having experienced physical violence, both at home and in the school environment. Child labour and child trafficking are stubborn problems with no evidence of being reduced despite Government and civil society efforts in recent years to address these problems.
According to a UNICEF Ghana report, more than 4,000 children still live in residential homes, often labelled as ‘orphanages’. Many of these children are unnecessarily separated from their families where there could be more of their rights being curtailed.
However, the Legal Resources Centre, a nonprofit organization is embarking on a campaign to ensure that children especially those in Ghana have their rights protected and thus enjoying their freedoms as children as well as making parents and every member of the society know the importance of protecting the rights of children.
In a training program on the Role of Paralegals in Protecting the Rights of Children held in Tamale ( N/R) on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, participants were taken through the Ghanaian legal system and legal aid and service provided. They were also schooled on the responsibilities of agencies in charge of children, the rights of children, implementation and practical considerations and so on.
At the end of the training, the participants signed a memorandum of understanding to bind them as far as the protection of the rights of children are concerned and also be the “children’s friends” in their communities.
Central to the Legal Resources Centre’s work are the campaigns and projects for the promotion and protection of human rights through innovative community mobilization strategies, human rights education, lawyering techniques and research and advocacy at the local, national and international levels.