READ : International day recognises children’s welfare

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Children in every country, every culture and at every social setting face various forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence. The abuse takes place at home, in school, institutions, at work, in the community, in situations of armed conflict and natural disasters.


Posted by Brooks Morgan on Wed 28 September, 2022 - Celebration

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Growing up with violence and abuse seriously affects a child’s development, dignity, and physical and psychological integrity.

The violence children face takes many forms and these include exploitation and abuse, trafficking, physical and humiliating punishment, harmful traditional practices (including early marriage and genital mutilation/cutting) and recruitment into armed forces and groups.

Children in every country, every culture and at every social setting face various forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence. The abuse takes place at home, in school, institutions, at work, in the community, in situations of armed conflict and natural disasters.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), every year, millions of children around the world become victims of untold violence.

Save the Children is an organisation that works to save children from abuse and neglect and prevents such things from happening and ensures that the victims of violence are supported and that justice is ensured.

Important date

November 20 is an important date marking various events to promote the welfare of children around the world. It marks the Universal Children's Day, established by the United Nations in 1954 to encourage understanding between children, promote children's welfare around the world and to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide.

Five years later in 1959, on the same date, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the same date in 1989, when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Countries around the world celebrate the Universal Children's Day in different ways - in some countries children receive presents, in others they take part in events and activities or are allowed a holiday from school.

Save the children

Save the Children, an organisation that works to prevent child abuse and neglect, ensures that the victims of violence are supported and that justice is ensured, is to commemorate Universal Children’s Day this year with an event on November 21, to focus on the theme: “Stop Violence Against Children!”  The event is to showcase the work that Save the Children does around the world to protect children against violence.

As the world marks the Universal Children's Day, UNICEF contends that despite the enormous progress realised for children since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1989, the rights of millions of children are being violated every day.

“With conflicts, crises and crushing poverty putting millions of children’s lives and futures at risk, protecting child rights is more urgent than ever. It’s a critical key to building stronger, more stable societies.

“We need to stop these violations by investing more in reaching the most vulnerable children, or pay the price in slower growth, greater inequality and less stability,” said the UNICEF Ghana Representative, Madam Susan Namondo Ngongi, in a statement to mark the day.

Ghana ratifies CRC

Ghana was the very first country to adhere to the CRC by ratifying the convention, which is the world’s most widely ratified human rights treaty, which sets out a basic, universal standard for a healthy, protected, decent childhood for every human being, on January 29, 1990.

Since the ratification, Ghana has made significant progress in ensuring that every child enjoys his or her right to a childhood. However, more needs to be done in Ghana as almost one in three children lives in poverty and 1.2 million live in households that cannot afford to pay for food, let alone other basic goods and services.

Scholarship schemes

This view was shared by some students of the Apam Senior High School, during a familiarisation visit to the offices of the Graphic Communications Group Limited in Accra, who urged the government and child-welfare related organisations and individuals to ensure the effective operation of scholarship schemes to cater for children whose parents were unable to pay for their school fees.

They said that was necessary to ensure that needy, brilliant children got access to education to become useful citizens in future, instead of ending up as hawkers on the streets.

“Every child has the right to grow up healthy and strong, to be educated and protected, and to have a fair chance in life. Our commitment to child rights must be matched with action for every child, by bringing about a development for Ghana that includes even the poorest families,” said Madam Ngongi.