Africa-Press – Ghana. Mr Seth Kwasi Agbi, District Chief Executive for South Tongu in the Volta Region has said there is the need to focus on policies and practices that eliminate harmful practices affecting children on the continent.
He said the move, if not curbed and eventually eliminated, “would be very detrimental to the growth and development of the continent.” Mr Agbi said this in a keynote address during this year’s regional ‘African Union Day of the African Child’ celebration at Sogakope in the Volta Region.
The celebration was the theme, “Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children: progress on Policy and Practices since 2013.” Mr Agbi, among other harmful practices, mentioned child Trafficking, child labour such as farm hands, disentangling fishing nets on the Volta Lake, child marriage, domestic violence, ritual murder, rape, and defilement as some worrying factors affecting the development of Africa.
He disclosed that governments, civil society organisations, communities, individuals, and other interest groups have implemented varied interventions to save and protect the African Child in order to curtail the stated challenges.
“The formal education system in diverse dimensions is also some direct efforts by governments to shape the African Child into useful citizen for society,” he added. Mr Agbi also stated that much needed to be done to solve the problems of the African child despite the various strategies being implemented.
Mr Israel Akrobortu, the Volta Regional Director of the Department of Children under the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection, revealed that harmful practices remain pervasive and socially condoned which would continue to hamper the enjoyment of children’s rights.
“Even though protection of children from violence, including harmful practices is enshrined in the international human rights standards,” he said.
Mr Alfred Dzikunoo, Programmes Coordinator, Plan International Ghana, sponsors of the regional event, indicated their outfit had made numerous contributions to end such harmful practices against the Ghanaian child.
The celebration, held at the South Tongu District Assembly Hall, attracted many dignitaries including students, education staff, traditional leaders, and others.
The Day of the African Child is celebrated every year on June 16 which serves as a day to reflect on the progress made towards children’s rights as well as the barriers they continue to face.