09 June 2016

Minister wants action on children’s involvement in crime

Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, W-R Regional MinisteAlhaji Amidu Sulemana, the Upper West Regional Minister, has expressed worry over the high level of children’s involvement in criminal activities in the Wa Municipality.

He said most of the children were often deceived by some irresponsible adults to drop out of school and engage in motor theft and burglary.

“This worrisome situation if not checked could jeopardise the future of the youth in the Municipality,” he stated.

Alhaji Sulemana made his comments, in a speech read on his behalf, at a workshop on the Child and Family Welfare Policy, in Wa.

The Regional Minister, therefore, urged parents and all well-meaning citizens in the Municipality to ensure that the situation was nipped in the bud.

“Our children are our hope and our future leaders and, therefore, harmful practices that seek to derail the bright future of our children must be stopped,” he stated.

“We must put in place the necessary measures for them to actualise their dreams and fulfill their aspirations,” he stated.

Alhaji Sulemana, therefore, appealed to all stakeholders to be sensitive to the welfare of children by consciously promoting their wellbeing.

He commended the Department of Children and its supporting partners for the good works in strengthening the child protection system through the development of policies, such as the Child and Family Welfare Policy.

The Regional Minister also applauded the efforts of UNICEF for the continued support to the Department of Children in ensuring the success of the programme.

Alhaji Sulemana said the policy was formulated because of the increase in the number of reported cases of maltreatment of children.

They include sexual abuses, sexual violence and exploitation of children, harmful cultural practices, such as Female Genital Mutilation, Early Child Marriages and Trokosi.

He said in the Upper West Region Female Genital Mutilation was still prevalent though the Government with the support of some non-state actors had been working hard to bring a stop to negative cultural practices.

The Child and Family Welfare Policy, which was approved by Cabinet in February 2015 and launched by the Vice President on 14th July, 2015, seeks to establish a well-structured and coordinated Child and Family Welfare System that promotes the wellbeing of children, prevent abuse and protect them from harm.

Mr. Sylvester Kyei-Gyamfi, the Head of the Research Division of the Department of Children, said the policy objectives were aimed at protecting the fundamental human rights of the Ghanaian child with the involvement of parents, guardians, religious and traditional leaders, children and the community at large.

He said the premise for the involvement of the community in safeguarding the wellbeing of children was on their history and traditional values, where a child was seen as a property of the community.

Mr. Kyei-Gyamfi said, therefore, the policy tapped into the positive cultural values of their people in the establishment of the child and the family welfare policy.

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