The workshop was organised by the Ghana NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child (GNCRC) to educate journalist on the need to ensure sensitivity in their reportage on issues affecting children and for journalist to also stay abreast with current national policies on child rights.
The president of the Ashanti Regional chapter of GNCRC, Madam Aba Oppon, said children are important to the development of every country, which, makes it necessary to provide them with the best education, information, and health as they grow to become responsible adults of the country.
She said the coalition since its establishment 20 years ago, has partnered with governments and other stakeholders in their relentless efforts to champion the rights of children.
Madam Oppon advised the media to avoid sensationalizing issues concerning the children and the media should rather seek to protect the identity of children in reporting on issues such as defilement and rape.
The national coordinator of the coalition, Mr. Barima Akwasi Amankwa said children are not safe due to issues such as outdated cultural practices, corporal punishment, physical and sexual abuses, domestic violence, child labour and trafficking, and early or forced marriages.
Explaining the Child and Family Welfare policy which was launched in July 2014, he said Ghana has a combination of international and national laws on children. However the laws in the country were parallel and worked in different directions and the laws were fraught with other several challenges.
He said these challenges necessitated for the introduction of a new child policy that has child protection systems fit for the Ghanaian context and which involves the family and the community in the protection of children.
The objectives of the policy are; to establish effective child welfare systems that focus on parenting, preventing violence in the family and in schools, and also protecting vulnerable children in the country.
Mr. Akwasi Amankwa mentioned that the policy would be implemented through the boosting of existing community structures such as the community child protection centers (CCPC) to protect children. The child welfare systems of the country would also be boosted.
The relevant laws and policies of the country would also be revised to be in line with the Child and Family Welfare policy, whiles children who are not living with their parent will be provided for.
The media is expected to use its traditional functions of informing, educating, and entertaining to highlight and explain the policy and other relevant laws to the public.
Two junior high school students from the Kwabre East District in the Ashanti Region, Master Blessing Obeng Apratwum and Victoria Serwaa Atuahene, who sat through the workshop made a call to the media and the general public to stop corporal punishment, end streetism and also address the issues of domestic violence.
By: Bruce Misbahu Bulmuo