Plan International, Ghana, a development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls, has urged stakeholders in child development to mainstream the African Union’s Agenda 2040 into national development frameworks.
The Central Programme Unit Manager of the Organisation, Mr Richard Buadu who made the appeal said it was important to redress the numerous challenges facing children across the continent to ensure their proper development and wellbeing.
He was addressing a forum to commemorate this year’s AU Day of the African Child at Ekroful, a community in the Effutu Municipality.
The theme for the celebration: “Thirty years after the adoption of the African Children’s Charter; Accelerate implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children,” was chosen to highlight child-centred development issues.
In 2016, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, established a 25 year Agenda namely; “Agenda 2040: Fostering an Africa fit for children”.
The main objective of the Agenda is to restore the dignity of the African child through assessing the achievements and challenges faced towards the effective implementation of the African Children’s Charter.
The Agenda sets out 10 solid aspirations to be achieved by the year 2040 and provides brief backgrounds with a deep insight on specific issues.
The aspirations include member states developing an effective child-friendly national legislative, policy and institutional framework; every child’s birth and other vital statistics being registered; every child surviving and having a healthy childhood and every child growing up well-nourished and with access to the basic necessities of life.
Others are every child benefiting fully from quality education; being protected against violence, exploitation, neglect and abuse; benefiting from a child-sensitive criminal system; and being free from the impact of armed conflicts, other disasters or emergency situations and having their views considered.
The event was attended by school children from Plan Int-Ghana’s partner communities, parents, officials from Ghana Education and Health Services, Social Welfare officers, Assembly members, traditional authorities, as well as the Children’s Parliament crew.
It was to sensitise and create awareness on the importance of participating in the promotion and protection of these rights.
Mr Buadu, however, noted that in the 30 years of the African Charter, some successes had been chalked.
These include three more countries ratifying the children’s rights to make it 50, and the adoption and reinforcement of some child-friendly national legislative, policy and institutional framework.
There had also been improvement in child birth registration and vital statistics, decrease in the death of children below five years, policies to improve education and measures to address Female Genital Mutation, child marriage and child trafficking.
Nonetheless the successes must be must be built upon in the next 20 years.
Neenyi Gyan III, Chief of Effutu Ekroful, commended Plan Int-Ghana for the event and lauded its continuous support for children to be become productive citizens in the society.
Children, he noted, were vulnerable and, therefore, their rights and welfare matters should be paramount on the national development agenda.
He appealed to stakeholders to ensure their proper grooming and progress.
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