Story by Carlos Afanou

Speaking on behalf of the Minister for Gender and Social Protection, Hon. Cynthia Mamle Morrison, the chief director for the ministry, Dr. Afisah Zackariah expressed that the Ministry recognizes the role of the religious and traditional leaders in child protection and has therefore ensured their inclusion in the development of the ISSOP in handling cases of child abuse with the provision of guidelines.

According to her, the necessity of involving all stakeholders in child protection to collectively prevent child abuse cannot be undermined. She called on all religious leaders to raise awareness on COVID-19 pandemic and to urge their members to adhere to the measures put in place by the government to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Dr. Afisah Zackariah added that child abuse prevention is a concerted effort and there is the need to work hard to eliminate them in order to ensure the development and well-being of children in a safer environment.
Ghana Against Child Abuse (GACA) campaign is a social drive support that seeks the reduction of violence against children and adolescents, including harmful traditional practices.  It also aims at promoting the well-being of children, prevent abuse and protect children and adolescents from harm.

Mrs. Faustina Essandoh Yeddu (Ph. D), the National Director for the Department of Community Development, on behalf of the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Hajiah Alima Mahama, lamented that the pandemic exposed children to protection risks like domestic violence and online violence, sexual exploitation, adolescent pregnancies and early marriage.

She concluded that, a broader sensitization of the awareness of the pandemic along side promoting child protection key messages on the eleven pillars through the religious and traditional leaders will be an effective way to involve the masses cooperation in the implementation of Anti COVID-19 pandemic measures.
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