MOWAC urges full implementation of legal provisions to protect children
6/13/2012 12:30:21 AM -
Accra, June 12, GNA -The Department of Children of the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOAWC) has called for the full implementation of legal provisions on children's rights to give protection to juvenile offenders and prevent their imprisonment.
Though Ghana has passed the Juvenile Justice Act (Act 653) in 2003, it has not been fully implemented, giving some limitations.
Ms Florence Ayisi Quartey, Programme Officer at MOWAC, made the call at the launch of this year's World Day Against Child Labour organised by Plan Ghana in collaboration with European Union and other partners.
The Day held at the Shelter for Abused Children, Junior Girls Correction Centre and Boys Remand Centre at Osu, Ako Adjei, enabled the team to interact with inmates and familiarise themselves with the facilities.
It was first launched by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2002, as part of the global advocacy arrangements, to highlight the plight of children in hard labour and to serve as a catalyst for the worldwide movement against the trend on the theme 'Human Rights and Social Justice.
Let's End Child Labour'.
Ms Ayisi Quartey noted that Ghana had ratified many conventions but was challenged in its implementation, hindering the full protection of children who fell foul of the law.
She explained that despite the comprehensive nature of the legal framework and the commitment it represented to protect juveniles in conflict with the law, the administration of juvenile justice in Ghana had been beset by a number of challenges.
Ms Ayisi Quartey cited shortage of programmes and institutional measures designed to prevent family breakdowns, vagrancy and juvenile delinquency.
She mentioned budgetary constraints and understaffed institutions as some of the challenges being faced.
She called for a comprehensive national child protection system that would holistically address child exploitation and abuse.
Mr Prem Skula, Country Director of Plan Ghana assured the children that there was hope for them in future and that they should not see the situation in which they found themselves as the end of their future.
He expressed Plan Ghana's continuous support to ensure the elimination of all worst forms of child labour by 2016.
Mr Skula outlined the numerous support Plan Ghana had given out and pledged to offer more for the protection of juveniles who might find themselves in the correctional centres.
Mr Claude Maerten, Head of European Union Delegation to Ghana commended Ghana for the efforts put in to ensure the protection of children and urged government to ensure the implementation of all the conventions ratified.