Government of Ghana says it will to continue enhancing Child Protection Systems in the country since it is linked with sustainable development and to the growth of the nation as well.
More so, government’s effort to ensure greater protection for children, led to the process of developing the Child and Family Welfare Policy.
This Policy seeks to establish a well- structured and coordinated Child and Family Welfare system that promotes the wellbeing of children and also protects them harm.
The Minister for Gender , Children and Social Protection Hon . Nana Oye Lithur, made this known during a stakeholders meeting on Alternative Care Reforms( Adoption and Foster Care) in Accra which was aimed at reforming and strengthening the adoption and foster care processes in Ghana.
According to her, the ministry is also working on the passage of Foster Care and Adoption Regulations that will enable the Government to lift the 2013 moratorium on adoption and allow for adoption processing procedures to fit within the framework of the Hague Convention.
“Over the past years, there has been great concerns on inter- country adoptions in Ghana”, she noted.
Adding that, Ghana has been ranked among the top twenty countries with the highest rates of inter-country adoptions.
This she said, the government therefore commissioned an Audit to gain a greater understanding of the situation between 2008- 2012.
After the audit findings, 96% of sampled Homes were unlicensed and unknown to government;and the number of orphanage had increased by 169 percent between 2005 and 2012.
According Nana Oye Lithur, in 2010, her outfit with the support from UNICEF established a Technical Working Group comprising representatives from the Department of Social Welfare , Department of Children , the Judicial Service, the Attorney General’s Department, Civil Society Organizations and other key stakeholders.
The working group was mandated to assess the alternative care system in Ghana and make recommendations for improvement.
This she noted, the Group recommended that Government of Ghana should accede to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co- operation in respect of Inter -country Adoption.
She said, the group also prepared guidelines on adoption and foster care to strengthen protection for children in need of alternative care and protection.
However, all these guidelines have now been developed into draft Foster Care and Adoption Regulations.
“The Government of Ghana under H.E John Dramani Mahama is committed to developing strong and effective child protection system .
As a socially democratic Government, we will continue to make sure that we have in place the necessary structures that protects and empower children in our country”, she stated.
By: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/NewsGhana.com.gh