Girls in upper west region petition President Akufo Addo to strengthen child protection


Today marks international day of the girl child and in the upper west region girls were drawn from across the 11 districts of the region to converge in Tumu the capital of Sissala east municipal to mark this very important day which is set aside by the united nations to see how to address challenges confronting girls and young women across the world. The theme for the celebration this year is eradicating child marriage and teenage pregnancy time to press for change is now. With Camfed Ghana being the organiser of the program, the girls drawn from the 11 district of the upper west region participated in drama, they also voiced some of the challenges affecting them in their homes and petition the president of the republic of Ghana for eradication of child marriage and teenage pregnancy completely in the country. Despite the existence of laws and conventions that protect the rights of children the girls from Upper West Region have seen that abuses such as child marriage, force marriage, commercial sex exploitation, gender based violence, physical abuse, child trafficking and female genital mutilation are still challenges they have faced with in the upper west region. The petition read, we the children of the upper west region as part of the commemoration of the international day of the girl child wish the solute all children and leaders across Africa in general and in Ghana in particular. By this we the children of Ghana recognise the tremendous efforts that the African leaders particularly the government of Ghana is putting in place to ensure a conducive environment for the protection and total development of children particularly the girl child in Ghana and Africa as a whole. we the children of Upper West Region are much aware of the various laws and conventions that African countries have established and signed onto for the protection of children’s rights and our total development in Ghana, we are aware of children’s act of 1998 at 560 the juvenile justice act of 2003, the convention on the rights of children, the African charter and the recent child and family welfare policy and the justice for children policy are all good steps taken by various governments to protect children. In view of this we call on the law enforcement agencies and the government of Ghana. Enforce all child protection laws for the welfare of children in Ghana and ensure that the children and family welfare policy are fully implemented for the welfare of all children living in Ghana. They want government to work hard to end child marriage, provide equal educational opportunities for boys and girls, and increase budget allocation to the gender ministry and improved teacher to student ratio in all public schools in Ghana. Government must also priorities technical vocational and agricultural education and training. Stop politicians from using children as political tools to incite violence in Ghana and Africa and also expand the school feeding program to cover the junior high schools as it is done to their friends in primary and the senior high schools. The upper west girls took the opportunity to wish their brothers and sisters currently taking their turn in the double track system a good stay in their various schools whilst cautioning those at home waiting for their turn to take very good care of themselves particularly the girls to avoid teenage pregnancy and early marriages. They also demand for decent jobs and employment opportunities for youth of Ghana particularly young women, it is our hope that the government of Ghana and other African leaders will take interest in our concerns our children for a better peaceful and prosperous future.


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