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30.08.2004 General News

Report on Children's Rights and Lives launched

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Accra, Aug. 30, GNA- Although governments are aware of their moral and legal responsibilities towards the child, these have not been matched with the implementation of the requisite laws on the rights of the child, a lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon, said in Accra on Monday.

Dr Gamal Nasser Adam said the plight of the street child was a reflection of a wider picture of gross inequalities in society, which had continued to manifest themselves in increasing numbers of the unemployed, destitute, prostitutes, hunger and armed robbery. He said: " Those that direct the system responsible for marginalizing these victims then declare them anti-social. National budgets are then beefed up to fight crimes, especially armed robbery. This is not to deny that crimes are bad or that society should not be protected against criminals, but rather criminals are usually produced by the society," he said.

He was speaking at the launch of a report on "Children's Rights and Children's Lives."

Dr Adam said these inequalities had generated a cumulative impulse of bitterness.

Ms Afua Twum-Danso, a Doctorate Degree student at the Centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham, UK, authored the report while the London office of the Community Development and Advocacy Centre (CODAC) published it.

The report mentioned lack of political will, lack of public dissemination and resources as factors accounting for governments' insensitivity towards the plights of children. Dr Adam noted that governments, especially African leaders, could afford expensive cars, drive past swarms of child hawkers living dangerous and precarious lives in the heavy city traffic without thinking of their plight.

"The hapless plight of this hyper-oppressed mass majority is one of the most eloquent testimonies of the total bankruptcy and inhuman lack of conscience on the part of the African leaders." He said every country had to establish its own priorities and reinvigorate the best principles of the society by providing children with the best.

Mr John Amankwah Manu, Deputy National Coordinator, National Youth Council (NYC), said most of the youth were engaged in drugs and other negative activities because they did not have good fundamental upbringing.

He urged all stakeholders to play their roles adequately to ensure the safety of the child.

Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr., Managing Editor of the Insight, stressed the need to provide quality education to all children to carry on the development of the country.

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