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Legal Resources Centre seeks policy reforms in Ghana’s Justice for Children Policy

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As part of its goal to influence national institutions to be more transparent, accountable, human rights-oriented and consistent with the broad outlook of Ghana’s Justice for Children Policy, the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) is implementing a Justice for children project dubbed “Justice for Children: Bridging the gap between Legislation and Practice”.

The Project, with support from the European Union, aims at bridging the gap between legislation and practice within the broad outlook of Ghana’s justice for children system by ensuring that children in conflict and in contact with the law are adequately protected and their rights promoted through targeted interventions including policy and legislative reforms as well as enhanced service delivery.

Speaking to A1 NEWS on the sidelines of a consultative forum on the project held in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region on Monday August 20, 2018, Enoch Jengre of Legal Resource Centre, said in furtherance of its aim, the Project seeks to review existing child justice legislative, policy and institutional frameworks, identify gaps in these frameworks and propose amendments to legislation or policy reforms for the promotion and protection of children who are in conflict and contact with the law.


In line with the broad outlook of the Project, Mr. Jengre said it was necessary that relevant stakeholders in the child justice sector are consulted and discourse engendered to identify legislative, policy and institutional gaps and propose reforms and amendments in furtherance of the rights of children within the justice delivery system.

“As a key stakeholder in justice delivery and as a civil society organisation, what we do is just to advocate, we are actually not policy holders who could actually enforce the laws. We can only advocate and lobby for proper thing to be done. So once we are actually able to meet with all stakeholders across the width and breadth of the country, we consolidate your inputs and we will come back to have a validate meeting across the whole region once again.

Once  we are done with that, the project demands that we meet Parliament to put it before them, so that we are able to call for policy reforms; amendments of the necessary pieces of legislations that could inform the development of children in Ghana when it comes to their rights and access to their liberty.” Mr. Jengre said.

Ms Abigail Adumolga, a participant presenting a group work during the forum

In his presentation on legislative, Policy and Institutional Gaps on Justice for Children, Project Coordinator of Justice for Children, Lawyer Clarke Noyoru, said there are no psychosocial support for victims of child rights abuses. “Psychosocial support; are we able to go into the psyche of the victim or perpetrator to really know what actually went on for the perpetrator to commit the offense”? He quizzed.

He also lamented over the manner in which the court process gets parents of victims seeking justice for their abused children frustrated and in some instances leaves parents with no option than to abandon seeking justice.

He, however, explained that depending on the nature of a case, sections 72 and 73 of the Courts Act, either party in a case can go for amicable settlement or a judge may refer the parties to go for amicable settlement.

Participants, drawn from selected security agencies, state and non-state institutions working in the interest of children’s rights protection, traditional authorities, civil society and religious bodies, called on the government to resource all state agencies such as the police, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Social Welfare Department and Department of Children to able to handle issues of child rights violations. This, they suggested should include capacity building for those agencies.

They also called for modernisation of some cultural practices through sensitisation of traditional authorities and networking and collaboration among child rights agencies to ensure adequate protection for children and their rights.

Source:A1Radioonline.com|101.1FM|William Nlanjerbor JALULAH

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