Making Sure Education Remains a Human Right for Every Child
A donation exercise under ‘The Brighter Futures Initiative’ was organised by Stand Ghana in partnership with KASAF to support over a hundred needy JHS students with essential learning materials in the Hohoe Municipality of the Volta Region.
The items which included a set of exercise books, pens, pencils and others were presented by Madam Rose Mary Kayi, the Executive Director of Stand Ghana Inc. to the headmasters of Gbi Atabu RC Basic and Gbi Kledjo MA Basic Schools at Gbi Atabu on Monday, 25th January 2021.
According to madam Rose Mary Kayi, the donation was aimed at helping needy students in the area whose parents are struggling to support them in their education in this era of COVID-19 Pandemic; and to ensure that they do not dropout of school due to financial difficulties.
She advised the students to value their education and aim higher. ” don’t let anyone or anything stop you from completing your education because it’s your future.”
The Headmaster of Atabu RC Basic School, Mr Francis Awuku and Mr Tsini of Kledjo MA Basic school who received the the items on behalf of the students expressed their appreciation to Stand Ghana and KASAF for the kind gesture.
Mr Awuku stated that the items will be distributed fairly to the most needy students in the School and put good use.
The Stand Ghana team is very grateful to all our sponsors for their continued support. A special thank you to KASAF for supporting this crucial Initiative.
The 2020 general election campaigns is gathering momentum in Ghana with lots of campaign promises flooding everywhere for almost everyone, except the elderly, who regrettably, seem to have been completely forgotten by politicians and the media.
Its interesting to see how media discussions these days are heavily focused on issues affecting the youth and other groups except that of the elderly. This is very worrying, considering the untold hardship most of these elderly people are experiencing nation wide.
So, why is the care needs of the elderly not an issue in this year’s election? Where are the policies for older persons? And , why is no one talking about them?
The welfare of elderly people deserve to be prioritized in Ghana simply because they are also citizens of Ghana. They deserve better social protection and better care after contributing so much of their adult life to the growth and development of this country over the years. They deserve better from government, they deserve better from the media, and they deserve better from the entire Ghanaian society.
Yet, all they get from society today is neglect, constant abuse and terrible human rights violations. Majority of them particularly those in rural communities are experiencing domestic violence, violent attacks, isolation, poor medical care, hunger, personal hygiene issues and several others that should command our attention.
Another serious challenge is the lack of formal care plan and facilities for the elderly in Ghana, leaving the burden of elder care solely on family members
As I monitor commentary on the various manifesto promises by political parties, it’s clear none is prioritizing the needs of older persons. And to make matters worse, the media doesn’t seem to care much.
While the National Democratic congress (NDC) has made a few promises for the aged under social protection such as: provision of day care centers, welfare cards for easy access to social services, establishment of special exercise parks and recreational centers; as well as training of more health personnel in domiciliary care for the elderly; there is no focus whatsoever on any of these issues in the media.
As a society, we have a responsibility towards vulnerable people including the elderly.
We have a duty to start focusing on how to improve the welfare of elderly persons in every community. We have to do this not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because, we shall also join this group sooner or latter if we don’t die early.
Therefore, Its time we push politicians to prioritize the human rights and well being of older persons in Ghana starting from this years elections – and the media has a key role to play in achieving this very important goal.
Are you sure you are using your face masks safely when you find yourself in public places in this COVID-19 season?
This question is very crucial because the use of face masks is one of the key safety protocols in the fight against COVID-19 according to recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO).
And, since everyone is at risk at the moment, and there’s not yet any cure or vaccine for the deadly disease, everyone is being advised by government officials and medical experts to wear face masks in public places to slow or stop the spread of the virus.
But how do we ensure that we are using our face masks properly and safely in order to protect ourselves and others who come around us?
To make sure you are wearing your masks correctly at all times, we are happy to share with you the following guidance by the World Health Organization.
1.Wash hands properly with soap before touching your face mask
2. Inspect the mask to make sure it’s not damaged or dirty.
3. Adjust the mask to fit properly without gaps at the sides
4. Let the mask cover your nose, mouth and chin
5. Avoid touching your mask
6. Always remove your mask by the strap
7. Pull the mask away from your face
8. Wash your hands with soap after removing your masks
9. Wash the mask with soap in hot water
10. Store your clean mask in a clean sealable plastic bag.
THE DONTs: things you should never do when using masks.
Don’t use a mask that is damaged, dirty or wet.
Don’t wear a loose mask
Don’t wear your mask under your nose
Don’t remove your mask where there are people within one meter
Don’t use a mask that makes it difficult for you to breath
Never share your mask with others
We hope that you too can share this with others, such as friends and family to save lives.
This year, several students benefited from Stand Ghana’s free human rights education programme on Children’s Day.
Every year, we celebrate November 20th as Children’s Day globally. The aim is to promote the welfare of children, and to highlight their rights and interests in society.
To mark this year’s occasion, Stand Ghana organized a series
of human rights education and awareness creation programmes in a number of
schools in the Hohoe Municipality of the Volta Region – including Gbi Atabu RC
Basic School and Kpoeta Basic School.
Our goal for organizing public education in schools is to improve awareness on child rights and issues of abuse among children and teachers in order to stop or curtail acts of child rights violations and abuse in the Ghanaian society; especially in the rural areas of the country.
Delivering her presentation to students of Gbi Atabu RC JHS, Madam Rose Mary Kayi expounded
on the importance of human rights to children; the need to know ones rights and
some specific rights and responsibilities of a child according to the UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child, The Children’s Act 1998, Act 560 and
Article 28 of the constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
She encouraged the young girls in particular to be careful
and to protect themselves against sexual abuse and molestation. She further
encouraged them to have ambition for their lives and start dreaming of what
they want to become in future.
Sadly, while the
Children’s Day Celebration is supposed to be for all children, the students
informed us that they didn’t know anything about the Children’s Day
celebration, if not for our outreach programme.
This shows that activities were solely focused on children
in the capital City Accra, without due regard for those in rural communities;
which is discriminatory and unacceptable.
The Stand Ghana team is very grateful to the Head Master of Gbi
Atabu RC Basic Sch. (Mr Attey) and the Assistant Head, Madam Lucy for allowing
us into their school to organize this all important Human Rights Education
programme for the students and teachers.
We also thank the Head Mistress (Madam Theresa) of Gbi Kpoeta Basic School a lot for letting us into her school to speak to the children on Children’s Day.
To all young people: Be Informed! Get to know your human rights fast!!
The entire JHS 1-3 students of Great Winners School Complex have been equipped with detailed human rights knowledge and skills at a human rights awareness programme organized by Stand Ghana on Friday, 4th October 2019 at Hohoe in the Volta Region of Ghana.
The over one hour talk centered on the content of Child Rights according to the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as issues of Child Abuse.
The presentation was delivered by the Executive Director of Stand Ghana, Madam Rose Mary Kayi who gave students detailed explanations on the specific rights and freedoms they are entitled to as children; how to defend and fight for their rights; and the need to expose perpetrators of abuse.
She emphasised the fact that as young people they have the duty to empathize with victims of abuse in their communities.
Madam Rose Mary advised the female students in particular to make smart choices and protect themselves from deception and sexual advances from men as this will only destroy their education and future.
Both students and teachers who participated in the programme expressed deep appreciation to the Stand Ghana team for giving them the opportunity to learn about their basic human rights and freedoms as well as responsibilities in society.
We believe that every child, no matter where they come from have the right to know and have accurate understanding of their fundamental human rights in order to be better protected from abuse.
Elder abuse refers to any form of mistreatment or abuse of an older person. It is a violation of the fundamental human rights of older persons – including both older men and women, either at home or at institutional settings.
It also means any action or inaction that causes harm or distress to an elderly person .
According to World Health Organization (WHO), elder abuse is defined as, “A single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.”
In Ghana, most elder abuse cases occur in the home setting, often perpetrated by family members since institutions for elder care are basically non-existent. The lack of institutional care facilities thus puts a lot of pressure on families, especially women who normally bear the burden of caring for elderly parents or relatives in society.
There are different forms of elder abuse including physical, financial, psychological, neglect/abandonment and sexual abuses.
Physical Abuse of Older Persons
This refers to physical attacks on the body or causing physical harm to an elder person’s body. It involves violent acts such as hitting, pushing, kicking or beating of an elderly person. Elder abuse can lead to physical injuries such as minor scratches and bruises to broken bones and incapacitating injuries or even death.
Financial Abuse of Older Persons
Financial abuse of older persons include stealing money from an older person, buying things and asking an older person to pay for it against his or her will, changing a will, forgery, misuse of power of attorney and denying access to funds. Often, older persons are so frail that they are not able to take charge of their finances as before. That is when people start exploiting them financially.
Emotional/Psychological Abuse of
Psychological abuse refers to acts that cause emotional distress or harm to an older person. It can take the form of isolation, insults and name calling. For example, in Ghana elderly women are easily branded as witches by members of the community or even family members.
Even though psychological abuse of older persons is very common, it is hardly reported due to fear or lack of capacity to do so.
Neglect & Abandonment of older
Older persons are sometimes weak, vulnerable and unable to care for themselves. They are therefore dependent on others for care and support. However, many elderly persons are neglected by those who are supposed to take care of them. Others have no one to take care of them at all. Thus, many elderly people end up living in insanitary conditions, and unable to take their medication or meals on time.
Sexual Abuse of Older Persons
It is an abuse
to perform unwanted sexual acts on an elder person or perform unwanted sexual
acts in the presence of an elder person.
PREVALENCE & REPORTING
Elder abuse cases are rather prevalent in most societies of the world, yet a chunk of the cases go unreported. This is because, the victims are usually afraid of what might happen to them, or due to poor physical or mental health.
The State of many elderly persons in Ghana is currently not the best. It’s time we pay attention to the welfare of old people in this country. It is not right that there are no public institutions or care facilities for the elderly in Ghana.
Government should priorities the care needs of the elderly since they are vulnerable individuals in need of assistance from society. As a country, we have to address the plight of the older population as a matter of urgency. Its our moral duty to do so since we will all get to the same situation some day if we do not die early.
It’s Time We Learn Lessons from Kampala And Ban Giving of Alms To Child Beggars On The Streets of Accra.
It’s very heart-warming to hear reports that the local authorities in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda last May 2019 passed a bye law banning giving of alms to children begging on the streets, as too many African children are being exploited economically through the begging business.
So my question is what is Accra waiting for? When will authorities in Accra – Ghana confront the menace of the proliferating economic exploitation of children on major streets of Accra?
According to Kampala’s new law, anyone caught giving money
or food to a child beggar will face up to six months prison term or a fine of
eleven dollars $11.
It’s our hope that the punishment will be deterrent enough to stop the practice of forcing young children, especially girls on to the streets to beg for adults under the scorching sun.
The authorities believe the law will curtail the commercial
exploitation of children in the capital because too many children are forced to
live on the streets of Kampala instead of living at home and going to school.
In Accra, this same problem is becoming wide spread. Child beggars have taken over most of the major streets and traffic lights in the capital.
As at now no one seems to be addressing the issue even
though the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Children’s Act 1998
Act 560 prohibit economic exploitation of children.
That is why we are calling on the government of Ghana, and
local authorities of Accra to follow the example of Kampala in banning the
We believe that once people stop giving out money to these children, the commercialization of children on the street will no longer be a viable business venture for unscrupulous individuals and parents.
In effect, the
practice of trafficking children into the lucrative business of begging will hopefully
stop or reduce drastically.
Ghana was the first state to ratify the UN convention on the rights of the child. However, the country still lags far behind in terms of stopping exploitation of children, as many children continue to suffer abuse and maltreatment, particularly the menace of economic exploitation in the form of begging on major streets of Accra.
On February 5th 1990, Ghana became the very first country to ratify the Convention on the rights of the Child at the United Nations General Assembly and the convention officially came into force on 2 September 1990.
This signaled a new dawn for the protection of the rights and welfare of children in Ghana; or at least we thought so.
In 1998, the parliament of Ghana also passed the Children’s Act 1998, Act 560 in line with the country’s international commitment to uphold the rights of the child.
Essentially the goal was to, “reform and consolidate the law relating to children, to provide for the rights of the child, maintenance and adoption and regulate child labour…” in the country.
gestures are laudable and duly appreciated by the people of Ghana, the practical
application of some of the key provisions of the convention and Act 560 has
been rather ineffective and seems to lack the necessary commitment on the part
of duty bearers.
area is the provision against economic exploitation of children by adults as
stated below in article 32 of the 1990 UN child rights convention:
“States Parties recognize the right of the
child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work
that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or
to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or
social development.” (Article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child)
This means any state that ratifies this convention including Ghana, agrees to protect its children from economic exploitation in every part of the country.
Yet, many young girls and boys continue to work or beg on the streets of Accra for adults instead of being in school, learning and playing with other children.
What is more troubling about the plight of these children is that they often work in the middle of moving traffic which is very dangerous and a harmful to their health and survival.
Whenever you drive around areas such as Madina Zongo Junction, 37 round about, Opebea Junction and Korle Bu area, you could see the so called ‘parents’ resting under a shade from the scorching sun, while the little children beg for money on the road in the hot sun.
It is extremely worrying that no one seems to care, or even if they do, nothing is being done about the appalling situation.
Public officials use these roads everyday but continue to ignore the situation as if everything is normal and proper.
But this is not normal. And, it’s not proper. It is not right to leave children in the hands of those who abuse and exploit them for their personal gains.
Economic exploitation of children is a crime according to article 32 of the child rights convention which Ghana ratified since February 1990.
So, we need our authorities to act now to stop the practice and punish perpetrators who send children out in the hot sun to make money for them.
children are entitled to special care and assistance
Do not take your human rights and the need to know them lightly. In addition, don’t take the fight for gender equality as if it doesn’t concern you.
A very important fact we should understand clearly is that most of the
rights and freedoms that we women in most parts of the world enjoy and take for
granted today – such as voting, owning our own property or signing contracts by
yourselves, for yourselves, going to school and many others were fought for by fellow
women who refused to sit unconcerned about the plight of women in society at
But the fight for bringing into reality the human rights of all women is
very far from over, as too many women and girls continue to suffer poverty,
discrimination and violence is society.
Despite the adoption of CEDAW (Convention on Elimination of all forms
Discrimination Against Women) and other human rights instruments on women, the
reality is that many women are still being trafficked into prostitution,
enslaved in the name of culture, raped in the name of culture, declared witches
and either killed or isolated, suffer sexual harassment at work, labeled prostitute
if they dare to stand for political office and so on.
We should not be unconcerned about these challenges. Let’s try to do
something to bring a change no matter how small.
We have a responsibility to do our part. No matter where we find
ourselves, we have a responsibility to stand up for the rights of vulnerable
and marginalized women and girls.
We have a responsibility to speak out against injustice, discrimination
and abuse against other women and girls in our households, communities and the
We have a responsibility to fight and stop all forms of violence against
women and girls at home, at work and in the community.
We have a responsibility to refrain from joining those who abuse or
maltreat other women in the name of culture or religion.
To do the above, we all have a duty to educate and inform ourselves about women’s rights issues so that we are empowered and in a better position to defend ourselves and protect other women.
AREAS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN IN THE PAST
were not allowed to vote Married
were maltreated or even killed when their husbands died
were legally nonexistent in the eyes of the law
had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation
women had no property rights
had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that
they could imprison or beat them with impunity
and child custody laws favored men, giving no rights to women
had to pay property taxes although they had no representation in the
levying of these taxes
occupations were closed to women and when women did work they were paid
only a fraction of what men earned
were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law
had no means to gain an education since no college or university would
accept women students
only a few exceptions, women were not allowed to participate in the
affairs of the church
were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made
totally dependent on men