Vice-President John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday said the involvement of children in the implementation and enforcement of Acts and Conventions that protected their rights was critical to their effectiveness.
He said the era when children were only to be seen but not heard, should give way to a more involving and participatory system where they would not only express their opinions about issues affecting them but taken serious by adults as partners in development.
Vice-President Mahama made the observation in a speech read for him by Ms. Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC), at a UNICEF workshop on Convention on the Rights of the Child in Accra.
It is to provide a platform for interaction between children and the legislature on the Acts and Conventions and attended by selected children from all the regions.
He pointed out that Ghana had come a long way since it ratified the Convention on Children about 20 years ago, yet the challenges of ensuring its total enforcement and compliance were many and far reaching …
… At an open forum, children expressed their displeasure at the way and manner parents meted out punishments to them. They suggested less harmless corrections such as solemn verbal advices and reprimands that would encourage and motivate them for a more positive change, rather than punishments that demoralised and make most children more hardened and poised for future revenge.
The children accepted that their rights went with responsibilities that required them to obey and respond positively to laid down rules and regulations that governed the country.
They pledged to form peer education groups in the regions and communities to educate their peers on the rights and conventions to help them realise their role and potentials as future leaders of the country. (full text).