Fields of Interventions:
DCI-Ghana was created in Ghana in order to promote and defend children’s rights. Therefore, several actions are undertaken in the following priority issues:
- Juvenile Justice
- Child protection (with specific programmes on girls and young women)
- Sexual Gender Based Violence and other forms of child abuse
- Child labour and child trafficking
- Education on human rights and child rights
- Violence against Children
In recent years, DCI-Ghana has carried out inter alia the following projects:
- The Girl Power Project
The Girl Power Project is a regional programme, supported and funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, to promote the rights of girls and create opportunities for their protection, to have quality education and access to vocational and technical training, and socio-economic and political empowerment. DCI-Ghana participated in the development of Ghana’s country proposal on the Girl Power Project, which was coordinated by Plan Ghana from 2009 – 2010. DCI-Ghana is working on the protection component of the project by using its experience in socio-legal services to prevent violence against young women. 5878 girls and young women have so far been empowered in 20 communities, five governmental organisations, 10 civil society organisations, and 20 community-based organisations in the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and the Obuasi Municipal Assembly of the Ashanti Region.
- Awareness-Raising on Child Rights
- Strengthening of Child Rights Clubs: 46 Child Rights Clubs with 2,530 girls and boys and 7 young women’s clubs with 259 members were formed and strengthened through educational talks, group discussion, meetings, and other media messages using information, education, and communication (IEC) materials. The awareness and knowledge of these children and young women were enhanced on violence and protection measures.
- 20 communities of about 40,000 households, including about 3,500 girls and young women, in the Kumasi Metropolis and the Obuasi Municipality were sensitised on gender equality, gender-based violence, child prostitution, child protection systems, gender-based violence, and protection measures for girls and young women against violence through radio programmes. Staff of DCI-Ghana visited community centers, held discussions to educate the community members, and inform them of the available systems, structures, and mechanisms for child protection in the communities and the institutional levels. This activity resulted in sensitisation and awareness-raising for community members to support the promotion and protection of children’s rights in their communities and enquiries about and access to the socio-legal protective services provided by the DCI-Ghana’s socio-legal defence centres in Kumasi and Obuasi metropolis.
- Press Articles and Radio Interviews: 4 press articles were featured in Kumasi Mail, Chronicle, Daily Democrat, newspapers, and the GNA website on the GPP. 10 radio discussions and interviews were granted to advocate for child protection and gender equality. The sensitisation programmes targeted government institutions and the general public to raise their awareness, sensitise them, and advocate for change and support for the promotion and protection of children’s rights in Ghana.
- Advocacy & Lobbying
- Advocacy on Medical Treatment for Victims of Violence: The Child Protection Network in the Obuasi Municipality formed advocacy committee to meet and discuss with governmental policy makers and implementers on access to medical treatment for victim of VAG/YW in the Obuasi municipality. The DOVVSU unit of the Ghana police service representatives explained that due to the costs of medical treatment, most often victims do not report cases of violence at all. Those who report failed to return with a medical report for prosecution. A committee was formed by the Child Protection Network to meet with the Obuasi Municipal Assembly on how to consult stakeholders of medical services to offer assistance to victims of sexual violence. The committee maintains its dialogue with the policy makers to report to the next meeting of the network.
- Socio-Legal Aid
DCI-Ghana provided socio-legal assistance to 1,051 boys and girls, of which 734 were girls and young women, through its two socio-legal defence centers for children in Kumasi and Obuasi. Issues included child maintenance, custody, paternity, neglect, children living on the street, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, labour/exploitation, trafficking, and delinquency. Services provided to the victims/survivors were counseling, mediation, referrals, medical treatments and reports, tracing of families, and legal representation.
- Training and Capacity Building
DCI-Ghana promotes training of members, children, stakeholders, NGOs, and youth leaders through workshops, courses, conferences, seminars, and exchange programmes as a way to enhance their capacities in working on child rights. The following activities are concrete examples of this effort:
- Training Seminar for Girls & Young Women: 160 girls and 40 boys in the Kumasi Metropolis and Obuasi Municipality were trained on gender equality and gender-based violence, how to report violence cases, child and girls rights, and protection measures against violence. This resulted in the improvement of their knowledge and skills on violence and protection measures against various forms of abuses.
- In the Kumasi Metropolis and Obuasi Municipality, 1,524 girls and young women and 273 boys aged between 9 and 24 years received life planning skills on topics such as rights and responsibilities, unsafe abortion, teenage pregnancy, prevention and protection against violence, Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV/AIDS, stigmatisation, personal and environmental hygiene, self-esteem, and decision making.
- Formation and strengthening of Local Advisory Committees (LACs), which serve as community child protection, watch dogs to identify, intervene, and refer cases of violence against girls and young women to the socio-legal centres and other appropriate agencies. 6 LACs consisting of 10 members were formed. In addition to 10 LACs in the Kumasi Metropolis, three LACs were sensitised and trained in Obuasi municipality. The training covered areas such as the definition of a child, the rights of the child, the meaning of Gender, Gender equality, Gender-based violence, Child Protection, approaches to child protection in the community, linkages and collaboration, safety measures, and target groups.
- A training seminar on gender equality and child protection was organised for 22 government officials from: the Department of Social Welfare, the Department of Information Service, DOVVSU, CHRAJ, the Department of Children, the Department of Women, the Labour department, Ghana Health Services, NCCE, and schools in both KMA and Obuasi Municipal. The result was increased knowledge and skills of the government departments to play their rightful role in child protection in the Kumasi metropolis and Obuasi municipality.
DCI-Ghana lobbied the Child Protection Network in Kumasi to undertake monitoring visit on the situation of Juvenile remand home in Kumasi and advocated for the improvement of the prison conditions. DCI-Ghana reported the deplorable state of the juvenile remand home at the dialogue session of the Child Protection Network in relation to lack of maintenance of the boys’ and girls’ dormitory. The monitoring visit was organised and financed by DCI-Ghana. The Mayor on the Metropolitan Assembly visited the home with the regional minister after which the home was temporarily closed. DCI-Ghana has met with the regional director of the department of social welfare to discuss improvements to the facility so children could return from adult facilities as soon as possible.
Through DCI-Ghana’s awareness-raising campaigns, 70’000+ members of the public & 3’175 pupils (1170 boys, 2005 girls) were reached.
The National Section was also able to train 32 community leaders, 25 government officials & 44 other professionals to further their capacities regarding children’s rights.
TO BE ADDED