Some of the children at the celebration, INSET:Mr. George Atuobi addressing the gathering
Compassion International Ghana, a child rights agency, last Saturday commemorated this year's World Human Rights Day and the African Union Day of the Child, with a call on policy makers, church leaders, caregivers and the general public to advocate for an end to the neglect and abuse of children across Africa.
The celebration, held at Adidome in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region under the theme: “Child Protection, Our Collective Responsibility,” was in line with compassion's child advocacy and protection policy which speaks for all vulnerable children.
It provided the platform for the agency and its church partners to rethink, reflect on and be abreast of issues affecting children in the country and the world over.
Sword drill, quiz competition for children on human rights issues, lime and spoon race, among others, were part of activities lined up for the celebration.
Addressing a group of children at Adidome on behalf of the Ghana Country Director of Compassion International, George Atuobi, Programmes Communication Manager, bemoaned the high rate of inhumane treatment to children on the continent.
He noted that many cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation and force marriages continue to infringe upon the rights of the African toddler.
The celebration of the African Union Day of the Child dates back to 1991 when the union initiated a remembrance day for children who were demanding their rights not just to education, but to be educated in a language of their choice, lost their lives in a peaceful protest in Soweto, South Africa, in 1976.
He said, “Twenty-eight years on since the incidence in Soweto, thousands of children across Africa including Ghana, are still struggling to get affordable and quality education because they have no voice and no say in decisions that affect them.”
“The lack of voice for children informed our decision to combine the full effect of the AU Day and World Human Rights Day celebrated on December 10, 2014 in stating a case for children in Ghana,” he added.
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), an international child rights protection agency, earlier this month in a press statement it released in New York/Geneva declared 2014 as the most devastating year in recent memory for children around the world.
It incited countries like Sudan, Iraq and Syria among others, as some of the notorious countries as far as the violation of children rights was concerned.
Partnership Facilitators' Supervisor of Compassion Ghana, Patricia Kubuafo, in a welcome remark, reiterated that the NGO would remain committed to protecting the rights of children.
BY Melvin Tarlue
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