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The pontifical mission of societies, Damongo held a very viable workshop to train participants or members on children protection policy and evangelization.
Participants drawn from the various parishes under the Damongo diocese, were taken through policy formulation, the child’s act 1998, child protection policy and girl child welfare.
Children are continuously being physically and sexually abused because the cowcountry has not been forthcoming when it comes to enforcement of the laws on child abuse.
It against this backdrop that this conference was held.
In a statement read on behalf of the Bishop for Damongo Diocese, Rev.Fr Peter Paul Ankyiere by monsignor Augustine, the bishop said the programme was crucial because children were the most vulnerable when it comes to the various forms of abuses.
He expressed optimsm that the training and knowledge acquired after the event would make a significant impact on protection and development of children.
The Diocesan Director, Rev, Fr Paul who also facilitated the workshop said Ghana has some laws for the protection of children, however, enforcement he said remains weak and again laws have not been made appropriate for the context.
Violence and abuse of children, including sexual abuse remains very high with over 90% of children reporting having experienced physical violence, both home and in the school environment.
Fr. Paul further noted that child abuse and neglect have immediate and long term consequences. In addition to negatively impacting the child. He said child abuse and neglect impacts the family, the school community and even future generations.
In many instances young girls and boys are sent from rural areas to families in the cities to serve as house – maids and houseboys. They are children who trade on the streets the whole day in the south areas such as Accra.
Their income helps house madams financially or pays for their school fees. Speaking on this, Fr. Paul Kasu said although most children return home at the end of the day, a growing number, including girls subsist and exist on the streets.
He said the psychological consequences of child abuse and neglect included the immediate effects of isolation, fear and inability to trust.
He said when children cannot trust that someone will be there to meet their needs, they start to develop low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and hopelessness.
These difficulties he however stated, can lead to life-long relationship problems and may also lead to development of anti-behavioural traits.
He said children with such situations are likely to engage in violent behaviours. Neglecting children are also at a considerable risk. Such children are more likely than other children to suffer from serious physical injury due to accident such as falling, drowning and fire. He added.
They are also at a greater risk than other children of being physically and sexually abused from unrelated cake taker.
In dealing with this mantra, The Rev. Fr admonished the ministry of gender, women and children affairs and children rights groups to manipulate the child’s environment, in order to liberate children from being victims of the peculiarity of their own environment.
He again encourage schools in Ghana to develop a definite program in schools to assist students and perhaps parents to resolve their educational, vocational and personal social problems.
Schools should show unconditional regard and acceptance to those who are already victims of child abuse with views of assisting them to be sensitive of their peculiarity and how to resolve their situation. He added.
He charged parents to be aware of what is going on with both online and offline, in order to improve child online protection in Ghana.
Participants at the end of the workshop appreciated the need for all stakeholders to come together to protect the rights of children as a means to prevent some social vices such as teenage pregnancies and streetism.
The participants also resolved to do effective grouping to resolve the problem by orientating children about their duties and regulations of schools and provide moral education, guidance and counselling among other things.
Source: Vroom || PAD FM