The Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Samuel Nuertey Ayertey, has called for the protection of children and adolescents to enable them to grow to become responsible adults.
''We believe that as a people, we should strive towards a free society devoid of violence, abuses, exploitation of children and the vulnerable,'' he said.
Mr. Ayertey said this when he addressed participants at a Child Protection Toolkits on Adolescence and Gender programme at Koforidua.
The workshop was organised by UNICEF Ghana, in collaboration with the Office of the Head of Local Government Services, Department of Community Development and other departments and agencies.
Currently, one-hundred communities in six districts are benefiting from the programme in the Eastern Region.
According to the Deputy Minister, the Toolkits were part of the mediums to transform the Child and Family Welfare Policy into practices.
He said the kits would gradually make child protection issues common topics in the communities and further enlighten community members, parents and guardians on the issue.
Mr. Ayertey said issues on child protection continued to pose challenges to the country and contemporary problems of kidnapping and internet fraud had complicated the issue.
He said the Region had benefitted from the programme since 2016 with 50 communities from five districts selected in the first phase.
“With the rolling out of new phases, quite a lot more communities have been added bringing the total number to 125.”
Mr. Ayertey expressed appreciation for the progress made against child neglect, physical, emotional and sexual abuse, child trafficking and child marriage since the programme began.
He urged the participants to carry on the fight to ensure those social vices hindering child growth and development were weeded out of society.
The Acting Eastern Regional Director of the Department of Community Development, Mr. Charles Bosompim said the focus of the Toolkits was to create a platform for communal reflection, expected to trigger actions leading to behavioral and societal change.
This will create a safe and protective environment for children to develop into responsible adulthood.
He said the kits contained materials that were useful in provoking discussions about a wide range of child protection topics among community members, groups and children.
The Child Protection Officer at UNICEF Ghana, Mrs. Joyce Odame said adolescents constituted a bulk of the population and, being the next generation, they must be given the needed support to transit safely into adulthood, to help the country attain the Sustainable Development Goals.
She said UNICEF’s investment was to ensure the development of the full potential of the human capital the country needed for her development.