The Parliamentary Committee on Gender, Children and Social Protection firmly believes that Ghana can end child marriage by 2030.
Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi, the Chairman of the Committee said Ghana had mainstreamed the global development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to improve lives across the country to leave no one behind by 2030.
He said child marriage, however, stood in the way of progress towards attaining many of the 2030 Global Goals.
He noted that it behoved, on all stakeholders, especially, the government and legislators, to develop new strategies and strengthen existing child protection systems to end child marriage.
“The success of these efforts would, however, depend largely on political commitment, continuity and consistency of programme implementations and prioritisation of adequate resources that are committed to achieving the laudable goal of ending child marriage,” Dr Appiah-Kubi stated at the “Future of Childhood in Ghana Conference” in Tamale.
The Conference, on the theme “For Every Child, Every Right” was attended by more than one hundred school children drawn from the five regions of the north.
The event, which was organised by UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, was held as part of activities marking the 30th Anniversary of the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Dr Appiah-Kubi, who is also the Member of Parliament for Atwima Kwanwoma Constituency, said: “It is instructive to note that Ghana was the first country to sign and ratify this convention. It is, however, sad to note that the rights of millions of children are being violated every day in the country,” he said.
He noted that the rising levels of child poverty, teenage pregnancy, lack of education and livelihood opportunities, high child morbidity and mortality ratios, violence, abuse and exploitation of children, child labour, child trafficking and many others were a few of the rights of children that were being violated in Ghana.
He said indeed, child marriage was truly a global problem that cuts across countries, cultures, religions and ethnicities.
He said the government had developed coordinated responses to child marriage in Ghana including several legislations such as the 1992 Constitution and the Children’s Act, which set the minimum age of the child and of marriage at 18years.