A new research project aimed at tracking and reporting child abuse cases in Ghana was on Tuesday launched in Accra.
The project dubbed: “Protect That Child”, which is a flagship work of Participatory Development Associates (PDA) would contribute to continuous research, fill data gap as well as create awareness and public support for child protection in the country.
The online tracking system that would also identify cases of violence against children, report them timely, collect and analyse reported cases of child abuse was launched on the theme for this year’s International Children’s Day “Stop Violence against Children.”
“It will also track identified or reported cases on children, this is opportune especially when a significant number of children are exposed to abuse, economic exploitation and vulnerabilities,” Mr Tony Dogbe, the Principal Consultant of PDA, said.
Speaking at a knowledge sharing workshop on child protection, organised by PDA, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) of skilled people who aim to support processes of empowerment and self-determination in communities, organisations and individuals, Mr Dogbe said the need to generate data on the state of children in Ghana was critical now than ever.
“But we do not need to search for evidence of availability of child abuse but most importantly, we need to convert research findings into appropriate policies and need intervention to tackle the critical issues of child protection that had been left unaddressed in the past,” he said.
The Principal Consultant of PDA noted that children represented the future of the country and indeed the world, and so their welfare and access to public support was something stakeholders owe as a topmost responsibility.
“We cannot also afford to leave this fight only in the hands of parents or families. We cannot also afford to leave it in the hands of government alone. It is rather a shared responsibility starting with parents, families, government, and we as a non-state or civil society actors,” he said.
He therefore, called for collective action at all levels adding; “Our collective action at our various spheres of influence is much handier at this time than ever as we are racing against time towards achieving universal goals achieving improved human dignity by 2030.”
“We cannot afford to be left behind in this race, neither do we want to appear in the list of countries that failed on human targets in the Sustainable Development Goals,” Mr Dogbe added.
Mr Mawutor Ablo, the Director, Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation, at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, lauded PDA for the initiative that would bring to bear on timely child abuse cases in the country.
He called for a concerted and collaborative approach at all levels, especially at the District levels where all the actions were being done to help make the goal of fighting child abuse in the country worthwhile.
Mr Ablo said the government would continue to work for the greater good of children through the provision of needed frameworks for the enhancement of NGOs works.
There were discussions on topics like; teasing out the issues of child exploitation and protection, world café, the practice of child protection: The present, the future and reviving connections and collaboration for child protection; need for a network.