ActionAid Ghana (AAG) has launched the Children’s Parliament in the Ga West Municipal Assembly to promote the rights of children to equitable access to good-quality, child-friendly public education.
The objective of the children’s parliament is to offer a platform to young people to air their views, build their confidence and self-esteem to demand transparency and accountability within the district.
Dubbed “30 years after the adoption of the charter: Accelerate the implementation of agenda 2040 for an African fit for children” the initiative also seeks to enhance genuine dialogue, debate, and public advocacy by children, promote the agency of young people, Civic engagement and impart democratic skill.
Mr Clement Wilkinson, the Municipal Chief Executive of Ga West Municipal Assembly speaking at the event commended ActionAid and said the programme would mould the younger generation to become better citizens.
He noted that the country needed better future leaders and that programmes such as the Children’s Parliament were one of the ways to enable the country to have such forerunners.
Mr Wilkinson said the programme was the practical aspect of what the children had learnt in classrooms and that it would enable them to execute their duties efficiently when they assume leadership positions in the future.
Madam Dunnu, the Regional Accountant of AAG and Representative of the Country Director said the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) had charged nations to focus on the participation and communication rights of Children which was the need for children to be “seen and heard”.
She mentioned that the African Charter on the rights and welfare of children also embodied similar visions as well as Ghana’s complementary legislation such as the Children’s Act 560 provides a national guideline on the rights of children.
Madam Dunnu said by rights, all children regardless of age, gender, social and economic situation should be able to express opinions on issues affecting them and given the opportunity to communicate.
She stated that the children’s parliament would be a site for exploring multiple communication functions, directions, results, and challenges for children in the basic school between the ages of 13 and 18.
Madam Dunnu said the launch of the Children’s parliament coincided with the International Day of the African Child, which commemorate 30 years of the adoption of the African Children’s Charter on 1st June 1990 by the African Union and the reinforcement of the new Africa’s Agenda for children called Agenda 2040.
Madam Dunnu said every Child had the potential to identify and solve problems, and that they needed to be given the right environment to achieve it.
She noted that the Parliament was expected to be the mouthpiece of the children in the Municipality to bring fort and advocate the welfare of children within the enclave and beyond.
Ms Alberta Blankson, the Speaker of the newly launched Parliament expressed gratitude to ActionAid for organising the programme and that they would use the platform to voice out issues affecting children in the Municipality.
She said they would use the opportunity to learn hard and to help address the pertinent issues affecting children in Ghana.
The Newly launched Children’s Parliament comprises eight schools made up of 32 members with each having four members in the House.
The Speaker of the House is Ms Alberta Blankson from St Sylvanus Roman Catholic (R/C) Basic School, Ms Johnson Elizabeth, Deputy Speaker from St Joseph R/C JHS, Mr Kwarteng Owusu Peggy, Minority Leader from St Joseph R/C JHS, Mr Simeon Kweku Sarpong, Majority Leader from Mayera M/A JHS, among others.