The Upper East Region has inaugurated a Child Protection Committee to coordinate the activities of Child Protection bodies in the Region to ensure the proper maintenance and development of children in the area.
The Regional Child Protection Committee is expected to use the Child and Family Welfare Policy Document, developed by the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection, with support from the UNICEF, as a working document in carrying out their responsibilities.
The Committee has already drawn action plans, including the submission of institutional data report on child protection, radio talk shows on child and family welfare policy and home visits.
They are also expected to introduce the Child and Family Welfare Policy document to traditional authorities and Religious leaders and to offer capacity building training for members on Child Protection issues on and how to collect baseline data on Child Protection.
The formation of Districts and Municipal Child Protection Committees and the creation of website and platform for the Regional Child Protection Committee are among the key action plan of the Committee.
Inaugurating the Committee, the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Albert Abongo, urged the members to work assiduously to help create conducive environment for the growth and development of children.
“Children are one of the greatest natural resources of the country and as stakeholders we must play our roles very well in their upbringing to ensure that we produce very responsible and productive citizens for the nation,” he said.
“If we fail to take good care of the children we will be building a destructive nation.”
Giving an overview of the challenges confronting some children in the Region, the Regional Director of the Department of Children, Mrs Georgina Aberese-Ako, mentioned child labour, child trafficking and child marriages, among others.
She said a Child Protection Network that was formed with the support of UNICEF and Afrikids, in 2014 and 2015, advocated a ban on the killing of spirit children in some communities.
With the support of the Ghana Private Road Traffic Union (GPRTU), the Network was able to reduce child trafficking in the Region, she said.
She expressed optimism that with the implementation of the Child and Family Welfare Policy document, a protective environment would be created for the welfare and proper development of children.
The Committee Members are; the Regional Coordinating Council, Department of Social Development, Department of Gender, Department of Community Development, Ghana Education Service, the Ghana Health Service, CHRAJ, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the Security Agencies, National Youth Authority, World Vision Ghana, Action Aid Ghana, Afrikids Ghana, Queen mothers, and the Catholic Bishops Secretariat.