The Ashanti Regional Director of the Department of Children and Social Protection, Mr. Stephen Ofosu has entreated the Ghanaian Media to be precise in their reportage with reference to child abuse for the public to feel the effects of harm done and the necessity to chastise culprits.
He advised that children are the asset of every nation therefore is important to note that for Ghana to have a future, children must enjoy a friendly justice system whereby their rights will be treated well and will not be ill-treated.
“The media reports cases of children in such a way that people don’t feel the impact,” he said.
“It’s affecting the justice system for the children and we want the media to account the cases on children as real as it is so that the public will feel its impact. We want people to know that every child is the property of the whole nation. You cannot treat the child anyhow.
“Some even treat a child with a slight mistake in cases they could even counsel or forgive. Some lay their hands, pour water while others employ foul means to harm them,” he advised.
In 1991, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the then OAU instituted the Day of the African Child (DAC) in memory of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa. At that time, students marched in protest against the poor quality of education they received and demanded to be taught in their own languages. The DAC serves to commemorate these children and the brave action they took in defense of their rights.
June 16 every year was therefore set aside by the African Union and its Member States observe the Day of the African Child (DAC) as a commemoration of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa, where students who marched in protest against apartheid-inspired education, were brutally murdered.
This year’s theme chosen to celebrate the Day in Ghana was, “Access to Child-Friendly Justice in Ghana” garnered towards addressing the numerous challenges children face in Ghana.
Mr. Stephen Ofosu at a press conference at the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), Kumasi on Tuesday morning educated by what means children should be treated when they come in contact or in conflict with the law, which should not be same as how adults are handled rather, a serene environment should be provided to make them feel free to give out evidence or testify in cases they find themselves involved.
He advised that curtailing the rights of a child leaves them with no good rather; it conceals the best in them which makes it incomprehensible for them to demonstrate their potentials.
“There are two ways children find themselves in trouble; either they come in contact or in conflict with the law. Contact in the law is whereby children can be called to give a witness and conflict with the law is where they get themselves involved,” he explained.
“We do not need to treat children the way we treat adults, the environment should be in such a way that the child can feel free to give out evidence or a statement of what he’s supposed to do,” he ended.
He added that a nation that has no friendly justice system for its children is liable to suffer in the foreseeable future judging that its success and decision implementation, which rests on the shoulders of the future leaders, is normally neglected and insulted.
“We have learned that over the years that, there have been many reports on the abuses children normally go through.
“Don’t abuse them, because if we continue so, we will not get the best out of them and the nation will suffer.
“Any nation who fails to protect its children from abuses, sexual violence like rape, assault threatening, denial of parental care, etc is failing to protect the future,” he ended.