The Ghana National Coalition of NGOs on the Right of the Child (GNCRC) has called on the Government to rectify the United Nations Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
The Protocol comes under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which seeks to improve the effectiveness of the implementation of the Convention and its Optional Protocol and to address the challenges that arise during the process.
The arrangement further required governments to “adopt or strengthen, implement and disseminate laws, administrative measures, social policies and programmes to prevent the offences referred to in the present Protocol, giving “particular attention to the protection of children who are especially vulnerable to such practices.”
A statement issued in Cape Coast, signed by Mr Philip Bosomtwi Amoah, the National President of the Coalition, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the call had been occasioned by the emerging cases of the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography in Ghana.
The Protocol also criminalizes specific acts relating to the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography, including attempt and complicity.
In 1990, Ghana ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, becoming the first country to do so.
The statement said: “The Convention on the Rights of children is the main international instrument for the protection of children’s rights, stemming violations including all forms of abuse, violence, neglect, and exploitation.”
Article 34 required State Parties to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
They must adopt or strengthen, implement and disseminate laws, administrative measures, social policies, and programmes to prevent offenses referred to in the present Protocol, it said.
This includes the inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity, the exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices, and the exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.
The Ghana NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child exists to ensure the promotion and protection of the rights of children in Ghana.
They pursue their mission through advocacy, public education and awareness creation, capacity building and partnership-building with the government, civil society organisations, development partners, and the children themselves.