The Very Reverend Dr Paul Boafo, Chaplain of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has said that despite the passage of the Children's Act, it was not being enforced.
The Children's Act (Act 560) was passed by Parliament in 1998 to provide enforceable rights of the child, parental obligation and order for the protection of children.
“Children in Ghana have been captured in heart rending scenes either being used as beggars, selling on the streets or employed as house-help and this could be attributed to selfish material gains of their parents,” Dr Boafo said at a pre-conference rally organized by the Kumasi Diocese of the Association of Methodist Men's Fellowships at Kumasi on Tuesday.
The rally was on the topic: “Combating Street-ism, The Role of the Church”.
He identified parental neglect, broken-homes and uncontrolled births, as major factors that led parents to send their children to do street-hawking or engaged in unapproved activities.
He said currently, Ghana was experiencing a high level of unemployment that has brought about the incidence of armed robbery and other heinous crimes.
According to Dr Boafo, the state has constitutional, social and moral obligation to make life worth living for its citizens as stipulated in the Constitution.
“The state shall take all necessary action to ensure that the national economy is managed in such a manner as to maximize the rate of economic development and secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every person in Ghana and to provide adequate means of livelihood and suitable employment and public assistance to the needy,” he recalled.
He urged the church to add its voice to the clarion call that education issues should not be politicized and that the best should be provided for the Ghanaian child.
The government should also assist in combating street-ism by opening orphanages, schools and awarding scholarships to needy children.
Mr Asare Yeboah, Kumasi Diocesan Chairman of the Fellowship, said the church must come out with income-generating training programmes for parents and the youth.