Religious and traditional leaders in the Central Region have pledged their commitment to reducing issues that hinder the growth of children to the lowest possible level.
They emphasized the need for relevant stakeholders to strengthen their efforts and policies in safeguarding the well-being and welfare of children to ensure their optimal development.
The commitment was made by leaders from churches, mosques, and the traditional council at the conclusion of a two-day consultative workshop on child protection. The workshop, organized by the Department of Children with funding from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), aimed to raise awareness among religious and traditional rulers about child protection issues.
The Ghanaians Against Child Abuse (GACA), a child rights organization advocating for the proper upbringing and rights of children in the country, also participated in the workshop.
During the workshop, discussions revolved around Ghanaian Child Rights and Community Child Protection. Nana Kweku Ennu III, Chief of Apewosika/Kakumdo and Mawerenhen of Oguaa Traditional Area emphasized the importance of involving rulers (Nananom) in educating the citizenry about children's rights during their various meetings.
He stressed the need for a better understanding of the issues at hand to facilitate effective resolutions. Nana Ennu also highlighted the role of chiefs in the fight against child protection and the prevention of violence against children. He emphasized the importance of allowing children to enjoy their childhood and urged all stakeholders to unite against child abuse.
Nana Ennu further advocated for granting leaders the power and authority to address perpetrators within their respective traditional areas, which would contribute to effective child protection.
Reverend Samuel Kwame Antwi, Chairman of the Regional Child Protection Committee, called on religious leaders to actively support the crusade against violence and abuse directed at children. He urged pastors and church management to incorporate discussions on child protection into their programs to foster a culture of advocacy for children's rights.
Reverend Antwi also emphasized that some perpetrators attend churches and mosques, highlighting the importance of disseminating the message within worship centres to enhance efforts in combating these issues.
Sheikh Ismael Tijani, Assistant Regional Chief Imam, expressed the Muslim community's commitment to educating its members on child protection in order to address the challenges affecting children's growth.
He called on all Muslim leaders to support and protect children, underscoring their significance as the future of the country that should not be disregarded.