Improving Ghana’s Child Protection System: One-Stop-Centres for Surviving Children of Abuse
Ramana Shareef, a consultant of the World Future Council for children’s rights, traveled to Ghana to promote the One-Stop–Centre model with high-ranking stakeholders.
Accra/Hamburg – For the majority of Ghana’s young girls and boys, violence is part of their everyday lives. In view of official statistics, 9 out of 10 children are exposed to psychological or physical violence, and harmful punishment is a widespread phenomenon. In most cases, there are hardly any contact points that help provide medical or psychosocial aid for the victims and their family. One-Stop–Centres can do what is vital, all under one roof, for survivors of abuse in need.
From the 10th until the 24th of July 2021, Ramana Shareef, consultant of the World Future Council for children’s rights, met with high-ranking government representatives and stakeholders for the promotion of the One-Stop–Centre model and the continuation of the conversations about the execution of the One–Stop–Centre-Pilot project developed in November 2018 (https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/ghana-child-protection-workshop-2018/). The One-Stop-Centre model used as an intervention tool for an effective child protection system was incorporated in the Zanzibar Children’s Law in 2011, which was given awarded with the Future Policy Award in Gold in 2015. Further information on the Future Policy Award 2015 can be found under the weblink: https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/p/future-policy-award-2015. One-Stop-Centres (OSC) are vital contact points for children and their families, that are exposed to abuse, including sexual abuse. Psychosocial support and shelter can be found under one roof, a police unit for the registration and initiation of criminal investigations, as well as medical care, including the gathering of forensic evidence.
In light of the surge in the number of child victims of violence, induced by the measures taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, there must be an increase in the relevance of child protection in the eye of politics and the public.
Mrs. Shareef stood before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender Equality and presented the One-Stop-Centre Initiative as a strengthening tool of the Ghanaian child protection system. She participated in the annual meeting of the National Child Protection Committee and spoke to committee members from different communities in the country. Many other meetings were a success, such as with the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Director of the Department for Young People, and the Head of the Department of Domestic Violence and Victim Protection. Everyone was interested to learn more on enhancing the Ghanian child protection system.
A highlight of the trip was the privilege of meeting the First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akuffo Addo, who has been a champion of children’s rights since she took office.
For the work to thrive, the World Future Council is in need of further financial support.
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