First in history US gives Ghana $5m for child protection

Ghana was selected because of her “strong government commitment, existing inter-ministerial framework and active civil society fighting child trafficking.”

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The Ghana and US delegations at the signing ceremony at the Flagstaff House play

The Ghana and US delegations at the signing ceremony at the Flagstaff House

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Ghana has sealed a $5 million Child Protection Compact with the US. This is the first time the US is signing this kind of compact with any country.

President John Mahama witnessed the ceremony as Ghana’s Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur and the outgoing US Ambassador to Ghana, Gene Cretz signed the compact for their respective countries at the Flagstaff House.

According to Lithur, Ghana was selected because of her “strong government commitment, existing inter-ministerial framework and active civil society fighting child trafficking.”

She said Ghana has proved that it has the potential to reduce child trafficking through improved coordination and enhanced investigations and prosecutions. Ghana’s legislative and policy framework for child protection has been strengthened over the past two and a half years with the Human Trafficking Legislative Instrument and the Domestic Violence Legislative Instrument forwarded to the Parliamentary Subsidiary Legislation Committee for consideration.

The Minister said: “Cabinet has also approved a Child and Family Welfare Policy. Furthermore, a national campaign against early and child marriages with support from UNICEF and the Netherlands has been launched”.

The US Ambassador to Ghana Cretz acknowledged the fight against modern slavery as “a priority for both Ghana and the USA”.

He said the signing of the Child Protection Compact Partnership is a significant step forward for both countries toward the elimination of child trafficking.

On his part, President Mahama said he was happy that such a compact has been signed. He said it would “allow children in Ghana to receive protection from the state”.

The five-year partnership will bolster the efforts of the Government of Ghana and civil society organisations to address child trafficking and forced child labour in Ghana. The programme will be implemented through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection with three other Ministries - Justice and Attorney General, Interior and Employment and Labour Relations.

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