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20.11.2004 General News

Children rights suffering

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...under breakdown in extended family system Accra, Nov. 19, GNA - Ghana on Friday observed that the breakdown in the extended family system was one of the major causes in the abuse of children's rights. A statement the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs issued to mark the International Day of Prevention of Abuse/Violence against Children said, "the past decade has seen disintegration of the extended family system with an increasing pressure on the nuclear family. "This has led to increase in divorce and separation; exposing children to problems such as child labour and trafficking all in the attempt to make enough money to make ends meet, since most children are not having access to their maintenance allowance"

The statement signed by Mr Fred Essilfie , Public Relations Officer of the Ministry said the rising number of cases on "Failing to supply Basic Necessities and Non Maintenance", which rose from 286 cases in 1998 to 2031 in 2003 was a proof that children were not being properly taken care of.

It said despite efforts of governments to protect the rights of the child through education, the establishment of Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) within the Ghana Police Service in 1998 and the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, their abuse continued in the forms of violence against them.

The observance of the day calls to mind the need to intensify efforts to protect and promote the rights of the child so that they would have a better chance to be the future leaders that they should become for the nation.

The statement called for encouragement of children to participate in national issues and to explore their environment to build their own concepts about life.

It said "we should at all times seek the welfare of children in whatever we do, it is only when this is done that we will see the Ghanaian child reaching his or her full potentials."

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