The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection through the Department of Children, Ghana Refugee Board, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, UNICEF, Plan Ghana and other Partners join the African community to wish all children in Ghana a happy Day of the African Child.
The celebration of the Day of the African Child (DAC) is a reminder for us to stand in support of the rights of children across the African continent. It is also celebrated to commemorate the gallant children who marched in protest against the poor quality of education they received and demanded to be taught in their own languages on 16th June 1976 in Soweto, South Africa.
The theme for the 2019 celebration of the Day of the African Child (DAC) is “Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First.”
According to the African Union, humanitarian crises result from various factors or events such as natural disasters, man-made resulting from armed conflict, tensions or human actions. These crises often lead to violations of children’s rights as a result of vulnerable conditions.
These violations include non-provision of education, health or an adequate standard of living for children to enjoy their rights, and the effects of these violations may affect boys and girls differently. Children in vulnerable situations suffer most from these crises.
The choice of hosting this year’s event in the Ampain Refugee Camp with the refugees is very significant and is in line with the SDG mantra of leaving no one behind. Ghana has played host to refugees over the years and is currently host to some 13,000 refugees and asylum seekers from different countries.
The Government of Ghana is doing so much to create a conducive atmosphere for children to grow up in a protected environment in such situations. There is a very strong legal and institutional framework to protect and respond to situations of violence. Through agencies such as NADMO and Ghana Refugee
Board children and their families from both Ghana and other nationalities have been supported to get back on their feet. Emergency LEAP has been given to victims of the disaster to improve their welfare.
The Ghana Refugee Board, working closely with the UNHCR and Partners in assisting over 13,000 refugees with a child population of about 4,600 (representing about 34% of the refugee population) refugee children in Ghana, ensuring that their rights, dignity and welfare are improved.
The celebration of this year’s Day of the African Child is also linked to the World Refugee Day which is celebrated on 20th June, and also the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
As we join our children in celebrating this day, we wish to call on all stakeholders including parents, Traditional authorities, community leaders, teachers, heads of all institutions which handle children and the general public to unite in providing protection to our children.
We must all unite to ensure that, even in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, the rights of children are adequately protected.
As a nation, we need to promote peace in our communities by upholding the rights of all children is entailed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on the occasion of its 30years of ratification.
We wish all a happy celebration.