Skip to content

Continuous Exploitation of Children In Ghana

Continuous Exploitation of Children In Ghana published on

Stop Adults From Using Children As Beggars

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.

A child begging for Money in traffic Near Opebea Junction in Accra
Children begging in traffic at Madina Zongo Junction in Accra

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.

While these 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.

One such 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.

Remember, children are entitled to special care and assistance

To All Women

To All Women published on

Value Your Rights

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 the time.  

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.

Women’s Right Education @ Oyibi
Women Learning About Their Human Rights

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 larger society.

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

  • Women were not allowed to vote Married
  • Women were maltreated or even killed when their husbands died
  • women were legally nonexistent in the eyes of the law
  • Women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation
  • Married women had no property rights
  • Husbands had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity
  • Divorce and child custody laws favored men, giving no rights to women
  • Women had to pay property taxes although they had no representation in the levying of these taxes
  • Most occupations were closed to women and when women did work they were paid only a fraction of what men earned
  • Women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law
  • Women had no means to gain an education since no college or university would accept women students
  • With only a few exceptions, women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the church
  • Women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made totally dependent on men

Human Rights Education for Students of B.O.D Basic

Human Rights Education for Students of B.O.D Basic published on

Educating Young People On Child Rights,

Responsibilities and Child Abuse

Stand Ghana recently organized another successful Human Rights Education programme for several young people from the B.O.D Basic School at Burma Camp in Accra.

The event took place at the premises of the Base Ordinance Depot Basic School behind El-Wak Stadium in Accra on Monday, December 17th, 2018.

Major topics covered were: Child Rights according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Responsibilities of Children and  Understanding Child Abuse.

The main objective of organizing this programme was to improve awareness on human rights provisions and to help young people know the full content of their basic human rights and responsibilities. This, we believe, would help them enjoy their rights more effectively and responsibly.

Those who took part in the programme included all form three students of B.O.D Basic School, and some teachers; and we were impressed by the active involvement of both the students and their teachers. Many relevant questions were asked by the students and we also receive valuable contributions from both teachers and students.

The head mistress, madam Pearl Ameworwor was also present at the event and sat in throughout the entire duration of the two hour programme – which we very much appreciated. Madam Pearl Ameworwor implored the students to apply what they have learnt in their daily lives.

She also reminded them not to concentrate only on how to enjoy their rights, but to remember to perform their responsibilities as well.

We believe that human rights education is very necessary for everyone especially young people who are the future leaders.

Human Rights Day 2018

Human Rights Day 2018 published on

This Year’s Message Is: Stand Up for Human Rights!

Stand Ghana Marked this years human Rights Day Celebration with  community engagement outreach activities. We interacted with people of all walks of life, in their homes, on the streets, in their offices and shops. We talked about human rights issues and explain things to those who didn’t know anything about the subject.

Interestingly, someone asked us if  human rights was a church? So we had to explain the meaning of human rights in the local dialect which was a bit difficult; but we managed to do it. This reminds us that we still have a lot of work to do in the area of human rights education and awareness creation.

This year the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70 years on 10th December 2018 – (from 1948 to 2018); and its worth celebrating by everyone, everywhere.

I know there are many unanswered questions on many people’s minds about the effectiveness of human rights implementation in most countries, including Ghana. However, that does not take away the huge  benefits human rights has brought us and continue to bring us globally.

Therefore, human rights are still relevant today as they were  in 1948 when the declaration was first adopted at the United Nations General Assembly by member countries.

I cannot imagine my world without the protection of human rights and freedoms. Let’s stand up for human rights always.

Happy Human Rights Day to every single individual person!

 

Written By: Rose Enya

 

No Tax – No Secondary Education Would Be A Human Right Violation

No Tax – No Secondary Education Would Be A Human Right Violation published on

And What’s The Purpose of Free SHS?

We’ve heard from the Minister of Finance that the Government is planning to stop children whose parents do not pay tax from accessing secondary school education. This is a very worrying and disappointing development because many children whose parents are very poor would be negatively affected should the policy be implemented.

We were indeed very happy when the Free SHS policy was introduced here in Ghana because we felt it was a great opportunity for children from poor homes, especially girls to have secondary education.

But now if government wants to limit it to only children whose parents are tax payers, according to what the Finance Minister said in his presentation of the 2019 budget; then we are back to square one.

We believe this kind of policy will be discriminatory and a VIOLATION of the right of  the Ghanaian child to access quality education without impediments from anyone.

“Everyone has the right to education” that is what the first line of article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states. Nowhere in article 26 is it stated that only tax payers’ children can have secondary school education.

If education is a right and not a privilege, then we cannot and should not base access to secondary school education on a child’s parent having Tax Identification Number (TIN).

Introducing the TIN policy in our educational sector will only undermine the whole idea behind the introduction of Free secondary education – which is “not to leave any child behind or at home”.

This is a bad idea and should NEVER be implemented in Ghana.

WRITTEN BY: ROSE MARY KAYI

Human Rights Awareness Talk At MacLean JHS

Human Rights Awareness Talk At MacLean JHS published on

2018-11-06 09.00.49A Child Rights Awareness Programme.

A human rights awareness programme has been organized for students and teachers of MacLean Junior High School at Odorkor in Accra on Thursday, 1st November 2018.

The presentation focused on some of the basic human rights children are entitled to, their responsibilities; issues of child abuse and what it means to have human rights.

The Executive Director of Stand Ghana, Rose-Mary Kayi delivered a two hour presentation to over 90 form three students and teachers present at the programme. She particularly encouraged the students to “value their human rights and to embrace tolerance and diversity wherever they may find themselves now, and in future”.

The Child Rights Education Project is designed by Stand Ghana to help young people to have adequate knowledge about each of their fundamental human rights granted them under the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child  and guaranteed for them by the Constitution of Ghana and the Children’s Act 1998 – Act 560.

2018-11-01 1612018-11-01 175                                                                               We believe that Young people should be well informed about their rights in society so that they can confidently report anyone who tries to abuse them to the appropriate authorities.

We are very proud of all the hardworking students who took part in this very important programme.

We thank you for listening to us attentively throughout the presentation. And thanks for all your interesting questions and valuable contributions.

 

Written By :ROSE MARY K

Child Rights Education At Star Trite

Child Rights Education At Star Trite published on

A Symposium on Human Rights of Children at Star Trite Montessori Sch.

 

IMG_0689The Stand Ghana team was at Star Trite Montessori School near Kasoa, on Thursday, February 22, 2018 to present a talk on Child rights and responsibilities.

Over 800 students and teachers of the school were at the programme, which took place at the auditorium of Star Trite.

The Stand Ghana team taught the young students of Star Trite School about the content, meaning and implications of their basic human rights; and about issues of Child abuse.

According to a CHRAJ report of 2011, “Although Ghana has made solid progress in building a democratic society, promoting human rights and the observance of civil liberties, the country still has a long road to travel in establishing a culture of peace and human rights”

At Stand Ghana, we believe that our society will be stronger and better able to establish a culture of human rights and peace if everyone is treated with true respect and dignity; and if everyone knows what their rights, responsibilities and limits are within a democratic environment.

That is why we are taking human rights knowledge to every child in Ghana – whether poor or rich, young or old to promote a culture of peace, tolerance and human rights in our nation.

Young people have the right to know their rights and responsibilities so that they can make responsible choices and grow up into responsible adults in future.

IMG_0600 SS2 SS3 IMG_0689 IMG_0595 Star Trite IMG_0675 SS1 IMG_0579

Child Rights Education At St Charles Schools

Child Rights Education At St Charles Schools published on

2018-03-21 008This year we are prioritizing our goal of taking human rights to every child in Ghana – whether rich or poor, one School at a time. That’ s why on Wednesday September 21, 2018 we (Stand Ghana) organized another very successful Child Rights Education programme for the young students of St Charles Preparatory School at Mamprobi – Banana Inn in Accra.

We are extremely pleased with the level of engagement by this young students who were ready to listen to us, asked very interesting questions and made valuable contributions.Their active participation made the programme a huge success.

They were taken through some of their basic human rights and responsibilities; and were educated on issues of child abuse.

We also encouraged them to value their rights, be tolerant and respect the human rights of other people in society2018-03-21 027 2018-03-21 067 2018-03-21 024 2018-03-21 072 .

Impeachment of EC Boss: A Bad Move for Gender Equality

Impeachment of EC Boss: A Bad Move for Gender Equality published on

Is This How to Promote Gender Balance?

Chair of EC - Ghana
Chair of EC – Ghana

Do you know that a process to remove the Chair Person of the Electoral Commission of Ghana from office has been initiated by the Chief Justice?

But what are the reasons for this move by the ruling government and the Chief Justice? They are still not clear to most of us!

According to the electoral commissioner, Mrs Shallot Osei herself, she still doesn’t know her accusers! If this is true, where is the fairness?

Anyway, there are rumours that the petition for the impeachment of Madam Shallot Osei was sent to the President of the Republic by two drivers of the Electoral Commission – which is quite strange to me.

I’m just wondering what these drivers know about Ghana’s procurement processes; and how they managed to know that the process has been breached to warrant a petition for her removal. Because I hear one of the accusations is that she did not follow procurement procedures.

In my opinion, what is happening to this woman is not only about her; but all women in Ghana . It is a general attack on women’s right to political participation and our quest of gender equality in public life in Ghana.

It seems some people just don’t believe a beautiful woman can be competent enough to handle a top public office. That’s why her appointment was met with awful harassment and insults in the media.

I recall how her appointment was met with so much opposition simply because of her gender.

Indeed, she was maliciously accused of getting the position by offering sexual favours to the then president; regardless of the fact that she is a married woman.

All that some of us want is that the security and development of this nation must not be sacrificed on the altar of parochial interests.

The good book says: “All things are permissible but not all things are expedient.” The government may have all the powers to remove her, but to what effect?

Instead of trying to remove the EC Boss, who just organized a very successful election in 2016, the government should be making tangible efforts to cure the growing gender inequality in the country.

Written By:  Rose Mary Kayi

Primary Sidebar