The Government of Ghana has been called upon to increase its budget allocation for child protection in its subsequent budgets starting in year 2020
The budget, Child Right NGO Forum explained that, it is of importance for government of the day through designated Ministries and agencies to adequately disbursed funds meant for child protection as well implement existing plans and policiesespecially in key areas like birth registration, alternative care, justice for children, child marriage and child sexual and reproductive health.

This call by the Forum was contained in a communiqué issued by the organizing committee of Child Right NGO Forum held in Accra dubbed “Ghana NGO Forum 2019”.

According to the communiqué, budget needed to ensure the protection of the child as well other relative services in Ghana as demanded by the Child Right Committee (CRC) is minimal as compared to the budget allocation for children’s education, health and sanitation.

Revealing that, the current ruling party, the New Patriotic Party in its 2016 manifesto stated that, “it remains committed to gender, equality and children’s rights” and would pursue full implementation of relevant Acts including the Human Trafficking Acts.

Adding that, the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his submission to parliament on his Government’s coordinated programme for economic and social development policies from 2017 to 2024,he stressedthat, “technical and financial resources would be prioritized at all levels to ensure effective implementation of child protection and family welfare programmes.”

This, the communiqué however indicated that, in the year 2017, 72.6 million Ghana cedis was allocated for child protection of which, shockingly, only 33.1% was disbursed.

Acknowledging that, although a lot of work by the NGO sector and UNICEF as well as the Government of Ghana had gone into various well –crafted and fully costed policies and plans for the protection of Ghana’s children,to them, they lacked full and effective implementation.

The Government, the communiqué pointed out that, though most of these policies had e adopted, there have not beena full implemenation of the Child and Family Welfare policy [2014], the Justice for Children policy [2015], the National Gender policy [2015], the five year [2018-2022] Strategic Plan to Prevent Adolescent Pregnancies, Ghana Family Planning costing implementation plan [2016-2020] and the National Strategic Framework on ending child marriage for 2017-2018 along with their costed operational plans.

Adding that, the “automated system for the registration of births and deaths” [SRBD] and the Care Reform Initiative needs to be fully funded to enable the rapid and smooth implementation and completion.

Ghana was the first country to sign the convention on the Rights of the Child [CRC] in 1990 that, nearly 30 years later, the Government of Ghana still has not fully adhere to what the committee of the CRC has observed.

The Child Right NGO Forum was under the theme“Child Protection: Whose Responsibility? And was at the behest of OAfrica in partnership with the Ghana NGOs Coalition on the Right of the Child and funded by the European Union.

Source: Adovor Nutifafa

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