Some Ghanaian children joined other African children across the continent on Saturday to celebrate the African Child Day at the Efua Sutherland Park in Accra.
The observation of the annual event falls on June 16, every year. The theme for this year was ‘The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for Children in Africa— Accelerating, Protection, Empowerment and Equal Opportunity’.
The children advocated for an inclusion in the campaign to end violence against children, emphasized the need for their voices to be heard and taken into consideration in planning for them, and called for support from government and opinion leaders to help put an end to child marriage and child trafficking.
In an address to commemorate the Day, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba, disclosed that the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) was developing a five-year strategic Plan to end teenage pregnancy to ensure that all girls complete their education and acquire skills for productive lives.
She noted that some underlying factors to child labour, child trafficking, child abuse and child marriage were poverty, negative socio-cultural practices and disparities in national development, adding that the Ministry was implementing the Child and Family Welfare and Justice for Children policies to help address such issues.
“These policies make the family and community key to the growth and development of children and offer appropriate protection to children in conflict with the law” She explained.
Madam Djaba reiterated government’s commitment to investing in the future of children, pointing out that the Free Senior High School Policy which would begin in September 2017 demonstrated this.
She, therefore, charged all parents, guardians and children to take advantage of the opportunity as no child was to be left behind.
As part of activities to mark the Day, children from various schools in the Greater Accra Region who gathered at the Efua Sutherland Park were given parcels from Samaritan purse some candies and food with drinks.
They also took turns to dance and interact with the Minister and staff from the Gender Ministry.
Source: ISD (Chantal Aidoo)