Accra, Nov. 23, GNA – Madam Marie-Pierre Poirier, West and Central Africa Regional Director of the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has hailed Ghana on the gains achieved in relation to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The United Nations CRC adopted in 1989 is an international convention that spells out the manner in which children should be treated with regards to their rights; civil, political, social, economic and cultural.
She said Ghana being the first country to ratify the treaty, now has under-five mortality rate reduced by 60 per cent, life expectancy increased by six years, and has performed so well in reducing child poverty.
She said Ghana has achieved a lot in terms of immunisation coverage, specifically to over 90 per cent, and in education, it has achieved universal enrolment for primary school with gender parity; all these achievements places Ghana ahead of many countries in this region.
Madam Poirier said these in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the CRC in Accra.
The event, hosted by UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, witnessed the lighting of the iconic Black Star Gate, signifying continued commitment to defending the rights of children in Ghana.
As a signatory to the CRC, Ghana is under obligation to ensure the promotion and protection of child rights irrespective of the child’s nationality.
Madam Poirier said for Ghana, like so many countries, this progress has not reached every child, where some children got a lot, others had less, therefore this inequity of the progress needs to be addressed.
She said UNICEF said Ghana as a country has a lot of investment for children, the national budget captures a significant amount in enhancing education but all stakeholders could look at efficiency; identifying how far that investment could go before asking for more investments.
She said it is appropriate to look at issues of things that would be so easy to do but are going backwards like the exclusive breastfeeding, stating that every mother can do this but they are not supported.
“First of all does her family support her, does the father, the mother-in-law, the environment, does the maternity laws support her, what can the government do to help” she asked.
UNICEF’s West and Central Africa Regional Director said things like this could really make a difference, as such, efforts should be made to consolidate the gains and reduce inequalities; and really go for the children who are left behind.
Madam Poirier described Africa’s 2063 Agenda as power as it is very aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 2030.
She was of the view that there is an agreement and a consensus on what needs to be done in the social area, and so the way forward is to get it done.
She said this calls for political will; national budgets prioritising key interventions that would make a difference and a clear norms and standards so that every actor could contribute to the same game plan.