Investigations involving child victims
UNICEF Ghana has been supporting Ghana Police Service for the implementation of the “Integrating Child-Friendly Policing into the Ghana Police Service” initiative. The work on the initiative started back in 2014 with a comprehensive mapping study commissioned by the Ghana Police Service and UNICEF Ghana and undertaken by the International Bureau for Children’s Rights (IBCR). The objective of the study was to collect information and data to map the existing system of juvenile justice and child protection, with a focus on the roles and responsibilities of the police and the institutions with which they interact to carry out their duties. As result of the exercise, the need for standards operating procedures for police and the development of the training material emerged. Two sets of Standards Operating Procedures for child-friendly policing have been completed, validated and printed in 2016; one for child offenders and the other one for child victims and witnesses of crimes. Facilitators and Trainees’ manuals was prepared which has been adopted and included in the curriculum of the National and Regional Police Training Schools in Ghana. By the end of 2017, over 5,000 police personnel have been trained on the child friendly policing initiative all across Ghana.
Improvement in child marriage trends
Improving trend in child marriage driven largely by significant reductions in South Asia, but problem persists with over 150 million girls likely to marry by 2030
The prevalence of child marriage is decreasing globally with several countries seeing significant reductions in recent years, UNICEF said today. Overall, the proportion of women who were married as children decreased by 15 per cent in the last decade, from 1 in 4 to approximately 1 in 5.
South Asia has witnessed the largest decline in child marriage worldwide in the last 10 years, as a girl’s risk of marrying before her 18th birthday has dropped by more than a third, from nearly 50 per cent to 30 per cent, in large part due to progress in India. Increasing rates of girls’ education, proactive government investments in adolescent girls, and strong public messaging around the illegality of child marriage and the harm it causes are among the reasons for the shift.
In Ghana, the number of girls in child marriage is decreasing but the decline shows inequities. The percentage of decrease amongst girls who have ever attended school is greater than those who have not. Currently data available show that 1 in 5 girls were married before the age of 18 compared with 1 in 3 girls in the 1990s.
More than 175,000 children go online for the first time every day, tapping into great opportunities, but facing grave risks
More than 175,000 children go online for the first time every day – that is one child every half second – UNICEF said today as it marked Safer Internet Day. Digital access exposes these children to a wealth of benefits and opportunities, but also to a host of risks and harms, including access to harmful content, sexual exploitation and abuse, cyberbullying, and misuse of their private information, the children’s agency warned.
The Regional profiles summarizes the findings from a national child protection baseline report (2014). It summaries contain clear information and data analysis of child protection trends and patterns in each region with key messages on specific protection concerns and focus areas that will require further policy dialogue and advocacy engagement. The profiles/summaries serve as useful "tools" contributing to evidence based advocacy for better targeting of resources for child protection at decentralized level. As well, they are relevant to effectively reach policy-decision makers as target audience (regional and district level government officials, including the Regional Coordinating Councils, and chief executives of the 216 Metropolitan, Municipals and Districts). It is expected to inform future strategies, design of programme at subnational level with emphasis on equity issues, service capacity, and coordination.
New report says around 85 million children under five live in 32 countries that do not offer families two years of free pre-primary education; paid breastfeeding breaks for new mothers for the first six months; and adequate paid parental leave – three critical policies to support children’s early brain development.