Involve us in the decision-making process - Children
Children in Ghana have called on African leaders to treat them with respect, transmit to them messages of tolerance and fairness, and also involve them in the decision-making process.
This was contained in a resolution signed by 37 children of various junior high schools to mark the Day of the African Child which was celebrated on Monday.
The resolution also called on the leaders to provide appropriate and necessary facilities that made teaching and learning easier, saying the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were goals for children and there was the need to provide necessary interventions to ensure that they were attained.
The resolution said there were about 800,000 children in Ghana who were not in school and the situation was worse in other African countries where children were denied access to education, quality health and balanced meals due to the unequal distribution of state resources and conflicts.
It noted that on a daily basis, children were confronted with the problem of labour, trafficking, poverty, hunger, inadequate educational and health facilities and non-participation in decision making process, among other things, which affected them.
“We children of Africa continue to face towering hurdles of adult and leadership induced challenges in realising our full potentials making it hardly difficult for us within our countries to live our dreams compared to our peers in the developed countries,” it said.
It also called on the government to implement a range of supportive policies such as the promotion of gender equity, delivering improved education and providing affordable local sources of food that would bring out the full potentials of children in the near future.
On this year's elections, the children entreated all the political parties to ensure that they were free and fair and called on the presidential candidates to present manifestos that were children-centred that would also solve the problems of children in the country.
A Mock African Union (AU) Summit was held in Accra on Monday to mark the 18th Anniversary of the Day of the African Child.
The Summit which brought together child representatives from AU member states provided a platform to deliberate on issues affecting the African child, under the theme: “Right to Participation; Let Children Be Seen and Heard”.
The Day, celebrated on June 16 annually, was declared by the then Organization of African Unity in July 1990 to commemorate the massacre of school children in Soweto, South Africa, in 1976, who were protesting against the discriminatory apartheid educational system.
Between 7,000 and 10,000 child soldiers, according to them, were recruited from Chad alone in 2007.
The children therefore asked the AU to declare a convention against their involvement in war and conflict.