10.05.2005 General News

Govt urged to implement the Convention on the Right of the Child

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Accra, May 10, GNA - Government was on Tuesday urged to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child to protect children from all kinds of abuses.

"Programmes targeted at the survival, development and participation would have no meaning unless children were protected against factors which have the potential to threaten their well-being", Bright Kweku Appiah, Acting Executive Director of Children's Right International, said at a press conference in Accra.

"Ratifying a convention and implementing it are two separate issues", he said, and called for the strict enforcement of laws because the right of children in the country was nothing to write home about. "When a child is marginalised it means that the development contribution of that child is marginalised", he said.

He noted that, even though, survival was a fundamental human right, the current infant mortality rate was alarming with about 50 per cent of all death of children occurring during the first five years of life. On education, he said, about 15,000 children, who should be in school were hawking on the street, and called on the Government to fully implement the Free Compulsory Universal Education (FCUBE) to enable the less privileged people to enrol in school.

Mr Appiah said it was important to involve children in decision making at home, schools and in everything that affected them. Denying them meant hampering their growth and development.

He said where religion and tradition conflicted with the law on children's issues the best interest of the child should be supreme.

"The principles of democracy and the rule of law was the best environment in which children could grow to establish their identity, realise their worth, develop their potential and this should not be taken for granted", he said.

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