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Child protection must become urgent priority – Dr. Oppong

By
Stephen Asante, GNA

Kumasi, June 16, GNA –
The Defence for Children International, an NGO, has called for the nation to
make the fight against child abuse and neglect an urgent priority.

Dr. George Oppong, its
Executive Secretary, expressed deep worry that substantial number of Ghanaian
children continued to suffer all forms of abuse in spite of interventions to
give them protection.

Many are pushed into
early marriages, engage in forced labour, commercial sex, maltreated and
neglected.

This was contained in
a speech read for him at a ceremony held to commemorate this year’s
International Day of the African Child in Kumasi.

“Accelerating
protection, empowerment and equal opportunities for children in Africa by
2030”, was the theme chosen for this year’s event, organized by the NGO.

The day is marked
annually to put a spotlight on child right issues – raise awareness and focus
attention on issues inhibiting their development and growth.

Dr. Oppong underlined
the need to create safe environment and opportunities for them to receive
quality education, have access to healthcare and decent accommodation.

He said it was in
everybody’s interest and that of the society, that children were nurtured and
helped to grow into responsible adults.

Ms. Augustina Gyamfi,
Ashanti Regional Director of the Department of Gender, indicated that it was
illegal to mete out any form of abuse to the child and urged everybody to be
bold to report offenders to the appropriate state institutions.

She reminded community
and opinion leaders to take centre stage in the campaign to safeguard the
rights of the child.

The Reverend Stephen
Darfour, Regional Director of the Department of Children, said they had been
working in concert with civil society organizations towards the protection of
children.

GNA

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