Street Children Empowerment Foundation (SCEF) in collaboration with other NGOs who are working to support children in street situations is petitioning government on the implementation of laws that will favour vulnerable children in the country.
Securing signatures from citizens who have an interest in the welfare of children in the street, the NGOs are determined to utilise their advocacy to press government and policymakers to consider the welfare of these marginalised children in national development planning.
In a virtual conference themed, “Social Protection During Crisis: Leaving No Child Behind”, the Executive Director of SCEF, Paul Semeh believed that the petition when presented to government will instigate changes in the lives of street children.
He further stressed that with a united front, the Organistions will not rest until steps are taken to execute their petition.
“We are not going to stop after presenting our petition. We will continue knock on the doors of government and political parties. We are going to be united in this course and fight until we see a policy commitment on our petition from policymakers”
“But we are not going to be quiet, we are not going to be scared or cowardice and hide in our individual organizations. We are going to come out and [speak],” he said.
Mr Semeh also noted that since this is an election year, it is important for political parties to outline interventions to curb the growing rate of streetism in the country should they win the 2020 polls.
“We want to see the manifesto of the NDC, NPP, PPP, CPP, GUM and all other parties to know what they are saying about our children in the street situation.
“Anybody who wants to be President in our country, must have a plan for our children. And if you don’t, then we are sorry because we can’t side with you,” he said.
Giving an overview of the petition, a Researcher, Dr Ernestina Tetteh indicated that government and policy makers are to develop a proactive safeguarding and protection mechanism that will protect children against abuse and also address shelter issues.
She noted that although Ghana has come a long way to protect children, more needs to be done to develop a safety net and healthcare programmes that would ensure that each child, particularly those in the street can easily access it.
“Our commitment is to “Leave no one behind” by 2030 and it includes children in street situation,” she emphasised.
The conference was organised as part of the activities to mark the 10th anniversary of SCEF.