The welfare of children in Ghana keeps deteriorating. This has made Ghanaian citizens call on the government to improve the welfare of children. In 1990, Ghana became the first country in the world to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. A research by Afrobarometer reveals that fewer than half of citizens say resources to help vulnerable children are available in their community.
Ghana has a full legal and policy arsenal designed to protect children from all forms of violence and neglect, ranging from the Children’s Act (1998) and Child and Family Welfare Policy (2015) to the Justice for Children Policy (2015) and the Cybersecurity Act (2020). But the country faces persistent challenges to the welfare of its children. While citing progress on birth registration and school enrolment, UNICEF (2021) reports that nearly one-fifth of Ghanaian children are victims of severe physical punishment, and the same proportion are engaged in child labour. Close to nine out of 10 suffer psychological aggression, and about three out of four children are considered “multidimensionally poor,” meaning they are deprived in multiple aspects of child well-being (e.g. nutrition, health, child protection, etc.).
Overtime, the institutions in charge of child welfare has blamed their incapacitation to lack of resources and funding opportunities. However, it is evident that a lot more can be done by the government to improve the welfare of Ghana’s children without funding. Considering the rise in streetism, institutionalization, are as a result of a loophole in the child protection system.
What could be the reason for the decline in the welfare of Ghana’s children? What role can you play to curb the situation?