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Concern for child trafficking

By James Harry Obeng

 

THE Department of Children of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MWCA) will by early next year commence the second phase of its sensitisation programme, dubbed the Training of Trainers’ Workshop on Child Protection in Conflict Situations.

 

This follows the completion of the first phase of the programme which is sponsored by the United Nations Childrens’ Fund (UNICEF) to, a among other issues, build the capacity of child-related stakeholders on child protection issues in conflict situations.

 

The first phase covered five regions, namely the Upper East, Upper west, Northern, Volta and the Greater Accra regions.

 

Mr Clarke Noyoru, the Project Officer of the Department of Children, told the ‘Spectator’ in an interview shortly after a similar workshop at Manya Jorpanya to round off the first phase on Monday, adding that the second phase would cover the remaining regions of the country – Eastern, Western, Central, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.

 

He noted the country was progressively making giant strides towards the elimination of human trafficking, and said the country currently rated as a tier-2 country among countries that have adopted the Protocol on Elimination of Human Trafficking, also known as the Palermo Protocol.

 

“Tier- 2 countries are signatory nations of the Palermo Protocol which, aside adopting the protocol, have passed national legislation in addressing human trafficking”, he explained.

 

Mr Noyoru said it was as a result of the adoption of the Palermo Protocol that the country passed the Human Trafficking Act (Act 694) in 2006 to address incidence of human trafficking domestically.

 

He urged Ghanaians to assist the department in its work to help the country “to join the tier – 3 category of countries, which are countries that have gone a step further in prosecuting trafficking offenders”.

 

The workshop at Manya Jorpanya assembled participants from communities in the Dangbe West district, including Agomeda, Kodiabe and Doryumu, to interact with personnel from the department of children on addressing issues of child welfare in the community.

 

At the end, a nine-member Zonal Community Child Protection Committee (CCPC) was inaugurated by the deputy Minister of Women and Children Affairs, Daniel Dugan, under the chairmanship of Nene Teidjahene Korabo (IV), the Asafoatse of Shai and Divisional Chief of Manya, and deputized by Nana Ayeko Blemanyoe, the queenmother of Manya Jorpanya.

 

Among the responsibilities of the committee are to advocate on the rights and welfare of children in the community, as well as provide counselling and psycho-social support to parents and children in the community.

 

It will also serve as a watchdog body in protecting children in the community from violence, abuse and exploitation as it investigates such abuses and link up with appropriate agencies, particularly the police and the department of children, towards addressing them.

 

For her part Nana Blemanyoe, pledged the commitment of the committee to perform the responsibilities tasked them.

 

She appealed to the Ghanaians to pay particular attention to the education of their children, saying “they are the future leaders of our country.”

 

 

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November 7, 2008 - Posted by | News

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