Madam Florence Ayisi Quartey, Director of Department of Children, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has called on parents and stakeholders to protect the “survival and healthy development” of children.
She said children needed to be protected, because they were physically, mentally and emotionally immature and unable to adequately protect themselves, adding that the younger a child was, the more care and protection he or she needed.
Madam Quartey said child protection and safety required multi-sectoral interventions such that parents, external family members as well as other formal and informal duty bearers were concurrently targeted with positive nurturing values and practices.
Madam Quartey said this at the launch of “Watch Your Tongue” Foundation’s campaign for 2021 and beyond dubbed “Child Protection Campaign” (CPC).
In a speech read on her behalf by Mr Michael Kofi Ofori Abiaw, Principal Programmes Officer, Department of Children, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Quartey said families were the first safety net for children whose primary social, moral and legal responsibility in society was to care for children and meet their basic needs.
“The roles and responsibilities of the family, more especially parents are enshrined in our laws, the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560) Section 6(1-4). The Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560) also imposes on parents the rights of the child to life, dignity, respect, leisure, liberty, health, education and shelter and are also to ensure that in their absence, the child is well cared for and protected by a responsible person,” she said.
Madam Quartey urged all stakeholders to ensure that they understood and were guided by child protection policies so that their practices did no harm to children.
Sergeant Daniel Ofori –Appiah, Founder, “Watch Your Tongue” Foundation Ghana, said the Foundation’s focus was to help in protecting children by educating all on positive child development and care within private and public settings.
He said the “Watch Your Tongue” (WYT) team intended to join forces with other stakeholders of Children’s welfare to help build a safe and conducive environment for children to grow and become the rightful overseers of the next generation.
Mr Ofori-Appiah said the Team in the Child Protection Campaign (CPC) would use its concept called the “P-A-R-E-N-T CODE” among other educational tools to sensitise parents on their role and other stakeholders in child protection.
“In light of this, the ‘P’ means Protect children in all aspects of their lives; A- Access- be accessible to them and you must also have access to them; R- Receive information from them. Don’t neglect or ignore them; E- Economic giant- do well to provide the needs for your children. Don’t portray poverty to them. Do your best; N- Nurture them well. Be like a nurse in their lives; T- Teacher or trainer, teach and train the child to become a better person in future,” he said.
He said the Team was committed to build a system that creates awareness to help fight all kinds of abuses against children, adding that the best way to protect children was to educate their handlers and the children themselves on life’s safety measures.
Mr Frank Doyi, Acting Director, Amnesty International Ghana, said Children were special gifts from God and deserved to be raised in a healthy and safe environment where their rights were not violated.
He said children should be protected from child labour, early child marriage and those out of school parents should ensure that their enrolled.