GHANA: Children's Rights in the Universal Periodic Review (Second Cycle)

Summary: A compilation of extracts featuring child-rights issues from the reports submitted to the second Universal Periodic Review. There are extracts from the 'National Report', the 'Compilation of UN Information' and the 'Summary of Stakeholders' Information'. Also included is the list of accepted and rejected recommendations.


Ghana – 14th Session – 2012
Tuesday 23rd October 2012 - 2.30 p.m. - 6.00 p.m

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National Report
Compilation of UN information
Summary of Stakeholder information
Accepted and Rejected Recommendations

(Read about the first cycle review)

National Report

13. The Constitutional Review Commission made a number of recommendations to Government, for constitutional and administrative changes in the areas of the right to housing, the right to education, issues of equality of gender among others. In the long term, implementation of the Commission‟s recommendations would help in cultivating and strengthening a culture of good governance, de-politicize national development planning, and strengthen national culture and diversity, strengthen Parliament, enhance the role of traditional authority in local governance, strengthen Independent Constitutional Bodies to better protect the institutions of State and the rights of people, and improve national governance and the lives of the people.

14. The Commission also found that there was at present a huge housing deficit in Ghana. It noted, however, that there were attempts by Government to provide housing units under various schemes for all categories of Ghanaians. It has therefore been submitted that Government provide a specific number of social housing units all over the country, from the national capital to regional and district capitals each year to alleviate the problem of inadequate and indecent housing conditions, which especially affects the vulnerable such as women and children.

15. A Domestic Violence (DV) Secretariat under the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC) was established in 2008, with a mandate to provide effective coordination to facilitate the smooth implementation of the Domestic Violence Act by all stakeholders, through specific interventions outlined in the National Policy and Plan of Action. The Act deals with prevention, protection, safety and the provision of services. An advocacy and Communication strategy is presently being developed to guide its implementation.

22. The Prisons Service recognizes the intolerable situation of keeping babies of incarcerated mothers in prison since they should not be made to suffer for the transgressions of their parents. To this end, there has been established a baby friendly unit at the Nsawam prisons to take care of such babies. However, additional support is required to establish similar facilities in the remaining female prisons.

23. The Service is also concerned that juveniles are sometimes incarcerated in adult prisons. It is therefore committed to fully implement the Juvenile Justice Act 2003 (Act 653) which provides for the transfer of juveniles in adult prisons to the appropriate institutions for safe custody and care.

28. The Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs has engaged Traditional Leaders in discussing the eradication of negative cultural practices from their communities. The Ministry is also collaborating with NGOs in the areas where such practices are prevalent, to report such cases to the police. The Ministry has also trained some Traditional Leaders on the Domestic Violence Act and other laws such as the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) to make them aware that they or their agents’ actions could have criminal implications.

29. The Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs is supporting civil society to reintegrate persons in the refuge camp with their families and communities. So far, the Ministry has supported a project called the “Go Home Project” by the Presbyterian Church to reintegrate seven of the inmates of the Gambaga refuge camp. Efforts are made to improve the welfare of the persons at the camp by the provision of food rations, potable water, housing, health care and clothing. Technical, as well as management skills training for the women are also provided by various stakeholders in their fight against injustice, but none of these have been adequate to really address their plight. The Government acknowledges that sustained education of the communities that condone this dehumanizing practice is strongly required and is channeling its efforts towards that. There are plans to eventually disband the camps.

45. There is often tension between the nuclear family and the traditional family unit as to the appropriate line of devolution of property upon the death intestate of a member of both units. Customary law provides very little protection for a surviving spouse. Neither spouse has a right to the property of the other. Children in a matrilineal system have no more than a right to maintenance by their father’s customary successor and a right to residue in their father’s house subject to good behavior. Sometimes the next of kin who inherits the property may or may not give a share to the surviving spouse and children.

46. In a patrilineal system, the eldest son of the deceased inherits the deceased on behalf of the siblings who are sometimes denied their inheritance. In certain cases on the death intestate of the successor, the property passes on to the successor‟s children.

47. The object of the Intestate Succession Bill is to remove the anomalies in the present law relating to intestate succession and to provide a uniform intestate succession law that will be applied throughout the country irrespective of the type of marriage contracted and the type of customary law system.

48. This Bill also seeks to give a larger portion of the estate of the deceased to the spouse and children than is normally the case. It is to make the law more responsive to the needs of the immediate family of persons who die intestate that this Bill is being proposed. The Ministry of Women and Children‟s Affairs (MOWAC) is engaging the Parliamentary Select Committee on Gender and Children to have the Bills passed speedily into law.

53. The successful implementation of the Domestic Violence Act requires a multi- sectoral approach and an Institutional Framework that clearly defines and outlines the roles and responsibilities of all the implementing agencies and stakeholders, as well as activities to ensure the protection, rehabilitation and reintegration services for victims of domestic violence. A roadmap to guide and to facilitate the smooth and effective implementation of the Domestic Violence Act has also been outlined, with a timeline of 10 years beginning from 2009.

54. The Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service launched a strategic plan in 2009 to position the Unit to better respond to issues of domestic violence especially violence against women and girls. The strategic plan has threebroad areas - advocacy, expansion and capacity building. Under the advocacy strategy, DOVVSU regularly runs radio programmes to educate the public on their rights and other gender issues. Additionally, in 2011, in collaboration with UNFPA, DOVVSU organized orientation programmes for security personnel on the response to sexual and gender-based violence, and a sensitization programme for host communities of Ivorian refugees in the Central, Western and Brong Ahafo Regions. DOVVSU also regularly embarks on outreach programmes in schools, churches and market places on gender-based violence, domestic violence and child abuse.

60. The Government of Ghana is committed to relieving victims of violence from the added burden of paying the costs of their medical examination, in line with the spirit of the Domestic Violence Act. However there are challenges with implementation. Victims who might not have registered under the NHIS usually end up paying for medical care. Also some victims, who have registered under the NHIS, still have to pay laboratory fees as laboratory tests are not covered under the NHIS. The Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Ministry of Women and Children‟s Affairs are taking steps to cover the cost of medical care for victims of domestic violence from the Domestic Violence Fund so as to make medical care free for victims of violence.

62. The prevalence of sexual and gender based violence in Ghana presents a serious challenge to women’s rights and this is further worsened by a perception that the justice system is slow and ineffective in hearing such cases. Forms of gender-based violenceinclude rape, domestic violence, and sexual assault, trafficking of women and girls, female genital mutilation, harassment, and forced marriage. The majority of gender-based violence cases involve women and girls but also affects men and boys, though the latter are most of the time the perpetrators of such acts.

66. A comprehensive training module is being developed by the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs for all sectors, to be trained. This will specify their roles and how to handle abused women and children.

67. In 2009, a data management software was developed for DOVVSU to better manage and disaggregate domestic violence data, and training organized for personnel of the Unit to enhance their ability in data collation and reporting. Other training courses have focused on the effective implementation of the Domestic Violence Law, social mobilization to facilitate community involvement, and the sharing of best practices with external Police institutions. Domestic violence issues have been mainstreamed into the police training curriculum and DOVVSU officers are recognized by the Police Service as experts in the area of domestic violence and child-related issues and used as facilitators in these training programmes. DOVVSU offices have become platforms for practical training of students from tertiary institutions, as part of their course requirements in Social Work.

74. Ghana’s Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) has been amended to make harmful traditional practices like female genital mutilation and “trokosi” an offence. The Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs has trained some Traditional leaders on the Domestic Violence Act and other legal Instruments such as the Criminal Offences Act, and engages them on how to eradicate negative cultural practices from their communities. The Ministry is also collaborating with some NGOs in the areas where these practices are prevalent to report such cases to the police. One of the NGOs - International Needs has set up schools in the community and quite a number of the Trokosi are in school. The number of Trokosi have also decreased.

75. In 2008 DOVVSU with the support of UNICEF led a multi sectorial group to start a Child Abuse Network to provide a comprehensive, child friendly, sustainable system which prevents and responds to all forms of physical and humiliating abuse of children in Ghana. This initiative was renamed Network Against Child Abuse in 2011. The Network, comprising medical practitioners and legal professionals among others, has instituted an in- school advocacy campaign against child abuse, where students and teachers are provided with information on preventing and responding to child abuse. The Network has also introduced mobile counseling in schools where a group of psychologists and counselors work with school children in outreach programs. The Unit and its collaborators are at afinal stage of developing a Standard Operating Procedures Manual to facilitate coordination of its activities.

82. There has been a steady increase in female enrolment in school which could be attributed to the increased awareness programmes, community mobilization and sensitization at the Basic School level. For example, parents in deprived areas are sensitized on the constraints that impede girls’ education and the importance of giving girls secondary and higher education. The inclusion of lessons and activities on education as a human right in school curriculum, the use of fliers, posters, durbars, drama as well as radio and TV discussions have increased children’s awareness of their right to education. The result is that many more girls now report to school authorities, education officers or civil society organizations when parents have withdrawn them from school for various reasons and they feel their right to education is denied or threatened. These activities have contributed to raising the self-esteem and aspiration of girls, and also raised retention and transition rates from the Junior High School (JHS) to the Senior High School (SHS), such that in some mixed Senior High Schools, female enrolments are higher than male.

83. Other interventions by government and NGOS to increase enrolment and retention of females in schools to bridge the gender gap include:

(a) scholarships to needy girls to access secondary education;

(b) the establishment of more Senior High Schools, to increase access to girls;

(c) upgrading of selected schools with girls boarding facilities;

(d) distance education programmes by the public universities;

(e) provisions of food rations for girls, particularly in the northern regions of Ghana;

(f) the introduction of a quota system by the public universities;

(g) bridging programmes in mathematics, science and English for technical institutions to enable students enroll for the Higher National Diploma (HND) programs;

(h) introduction of the “all inclusive education” for the disabled.

84. Other initiatives worth mentioning include the introduction of an “Access Course” which provides candidates who are unable to meet the competitive entry requirement for teacher training college, the opportunity to study for other courses to upgrade themselves for future enrollment in the training college. This initiative has increased the much needed female presence in schools and provided role models and mentors and inspired parents to send their girls to school. The Untrained Teacher Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) which gives untrained teachers the opportunity to study while teaching has also favoured a lot of females and is narrowing the gap between trained male and female teachers.

85. There are also efforts aimed at overcoming negative religious attitudes and practices that hinder girls’ education. The Muslim Relief Association of Ghana and the Girls Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service for example, have done a lot of advocacy among Muslim Clerics and Traditional Leaders in predominantly Muslim and traditional communities. The result is that some community and religious leaders have changed their perceptions and now encourage the education of girls, leading to increased enrolment and retention of girls in some communities. Laws have also been enacted criminalizing some of these attitudes and practices such as female genital mutilation, Trokosi and forced child marriages.

86. Currently girls constitute 46% of high school enrolment. At the tertiary level there has been an increase from 34.5% in 2005 to 38 % in 2009. The Government remains committed to continue its efforts to increase girls‟ enrolment further. The challenge, however, is getting people to be committed to upholding this right when it conflicts with their personal priorities. Also, some traditional attitudes still persist because some of the girls believe in them.

87. Challenges however remain. Inadequate academic and physical infrastructure to accommodate more students and the lack of adequate ICT facilities also limit the participation of girls from rural areas. Also, for various reasons, the majority of female students prefer the arts subjects to the sciences. The government acknowledges that theprovision of science equipment for teaching and learning in schools, right from the primary level, and increased investment in science teachers needs to be given greater attention.

94. With regard to the issue of Mother-to-Child Transmission, (MTCT), progress has been made since 2008 in increasing the coverage of PMTCT services: there is currently, at least one PMTCT site in each district of the country. The NSP 2011-2015 has set the target of reducing the MTCT rate in Ghana estimated at 30% in 2010 (based on EPP modeling), to less than 5% by 2015. This requires the scaling up of PMTCT services, and the establishment of 1,842 new PMTCT sites as envisaged by the NSP 2011-2015 to meet the increased demand for the services.

95. In addition, a standardized package of PMTCT services to help reduce MTCT in Ghana has been identified. It comprises HIV testing and counseling, counseling and support in family planning, maternal nutrition, infant and young child feeding, ART eligibility assessment and provision of ARVs for PMTCT, ARV prophylaxis for exposed infants, cotrimoxazole for mothers and babies; and early infant diagnosis of HIV.

115. In compliance with its international human rights obligation, Ghana has ratified the major international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Rights of the Child , the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). Ghana is committed to the implementation of the International human rights instruments it is party to, and would continue in its endeavour to promote and protect human rights in the country, convinced that the respect for all human rights provides the foundation for meaningful and sustainable national development.

Compilation of UN information

3. UNICEF stated that Ghana’s 1992 Constitution was reviewed during a process which started in 2010 and concluded in late 2011. The review was conducted with a particular focus on the provisions affecting children’s rights.

8. UNICEF stated that while many government ministries, departments and agencies are involved in various aspects of child protection, there are inadequate mechanisms for coordination and referral.

9. CAT regretted the absence of comprehensive and disaggregated data on complaints, investigations, prosecutions and convictions in cases of torture, ill-treatment, violence against women, trafficking and harmful traditional practices. It recommended that Ghana compile statistical data to monitor the implementation of the Convention. UNICEF raised similar concern.

13. In 2011, the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (ILO Committee of Experts) noted that the Government had not taken the opportunity of the revision of the Education Act 2008 to prohibit discrimination in education on the basis of all the grounds listed in article 1, paragraph 1 (a) of ILO Convention No. 111. The ILO Committee of Experts asked the Government to take the necessary measures to ensure that such provisions will be included in the Education Act and encouraged it to continue its efforts to promote access of girls and women to education and training.

25. UN Women indicated that female genital mutilation (FGM) is practiced among some ethnic groups in northern Ghana. About nine to 15 per cent of Ghana’s population belongs to groups who practice FGM, mostly concentrated in the Northern, Upper East, and Upper West regions. UNICEF indicated that existing legislation called for sentences of three years for those found committing the practice.

27. The Special Rapporteur on the right to health recommended that Ghana seek new methods of enforcing laws prohibiting harmful “traditional practices,” especially those that discriminate against women, including trokosi (ritual enslavement of girls wherein teenage girls are pledged to a period of service at a local shrine to atone for another family member’s sins) and female genital mutilation.

28. UNICEF indicated that Ghanaian law does permit corporal punishment, “provided it is justifiable, reasonable in kind or in degree according to the age, physical and mental condition of the child” and that the Ministry of Education’s code of conduct for teachers permits caning and that there is evidence to suggest that adults, particularly parents, believe that physical punishment of children is a critical component of child-rearing. CAT expressed concern at the widespread use of corporal punishment within the family, schools and alternative care settings and recommended explicitly prohibiting corporal punishment of children in all settings.

29. In 2011, the ILO Committee of Experts noted information provided by Ghana that a total of 305 children below the age of 18 years were withdrawn from trokosi from 2001 to 2009 and requested Ghana to continue taking immediate and effective measures to prevent the engagement of children into trokosi and to put an end to this traditional practice as a matter of urgency.

30. Noting that the Criminal Code does not specifically establish offences related to pornography or pornographic performances by a child under 18, the ILO Committee of Experts requested the Government to take the necessary measures to specifically prohibit the use, procuring or offering of a child for the production of pornography and for pornographic performances. It also requested to adopt provisions establishing appropriate penalties for these worst forms of child labour.

31. UNICEF stated that, by far, the biggest employer of child labour in Ghana is the cocoa industry, the country’s main economic activity. UNICEF also indicated that perhaps the most hazardous work activities in which children can be found to be engaged in Ghana are small-scale and illegal artisanal mining operations, also known as glamsey. Many operators of these illegal mines engage large numbers of children between the ages of 10 and 18 years, including girls.

32. UNICEF stated that it is estimated that as many as 50,000 children are living and/or working in the streets. Nearly half of them are found in the Greater Accra region. There are also some in the second largest city, Kumasi. Many street children are illiterate and either victimized by sexual predators or turn to commercial sex as a way to make a living, exposing them to great risks, including violence, serious physical and psychological harm, and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV

33. The ILO Committee of Experts noted Ghana’s information that child victims of Kayaye (girls given for fosterage who finally end up working in the street) had been rehabilitated and provided with assistance and requested Ghana to continue its efforts to eliminate this cultural practice.

34. CAT and UNICEF expressed concern at internal and cross-border trafficking of women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labour. Ghanaian children are particularly trafficked to neighbouring countries for domestic service and exploitative labour. Children are also trafficked within Ghana to work in cocoa farming, domestic service, street vending, head portering, fishing, and the commercial sex trade. Typically, boys aged 10-17 are trafficked from the northern regions to Lake Volta for fishing or to the Western region for mining, while girls come from the north and east and are trafficked to Accra and Kumasi for work in portering, domestic service, and trading. CAT recommended that Ghana prevent and combat trafficking in human beings, by implementing anti- trafficking legislation, protecting victims and ensuring their access to medical, social, rehabilitative, legal and counselling services; ensure adequate conditions for victims to make complaints; conduct impartial investigations and punish those responsible; and conduct nation-wide awareness-raising campaigns and training for law enforcement officials.

36. UNICEF stated that the laws set the age of criminal responsibility at 12, which is seen as a great improvement over the previously set age of seven, but still low by international standards.

37. UNICEF stated that juveniles convicted under the law are remanded to detention centres, which are supposed to provide vocational training. However, many juvenile detention centres are lacking in such facilities, thus depriving children of access to education, skills training, and other psychological services. There are also insufficient juvenile courts. CAT also expressed concern about the limited number of remand homes for juvenile offenders and the poor conditions in such institutions. It recommended improving and expanding the infrastructure for juvenile offenders.

38. UNICEF stated that birth registration figures had increased from around 30 per cent in 2000 to over 60 per cent in 2010, but children in the wealthiest quintile are twice as likely to have a birth certificate compared to children in the poorest quintile. Lack of parental awareness is the apparent primary cause of the low birth registration rate, as well as a lack of need for registration, since birth registration is not linked to the provision of basic services such as health and education. The cost of registration was another reason.

49. UN Women stated malnutrition in pregnant women resulting from poverty and ignorance contributes heavily to high mortality and constitutes a major challenge. Progress in reducing maternal death has overall been slow: Ghana’s maternal mortality stands at 350 deaths per 100,000 live births, while the MDG target is 185 per 100,000. WFP also noted that maternal mortality continues to be an issue in terms of achieving the MDGs by 2015.

50. In respect of maternal mortality, the Special Rapporteur on the right to health urged Ghana to increase efforts to contain the national fertility rate, particularly through implementation of comprehensive family-planning services which include women in their design; seek to increase the number of antenatal visits attended by women during pregnancy, and consider establishing mechanisms to ensure patients are given appropriate follow-up; provide vouchers or another system of subsidy to poor women located in rural settings to accommodate costs related to transportation and accommodation when seeking maternal health services; invest increased resources in provision of health care during the postnatal period, and develop mechanisms allowing for community involvement in establishing programmes that engage and empower women.

51. UN Women was concerned about the inadequate reproductive health services and the lack of mental health services for adolescents and limited access by HIV/AIDS infected children and mothers to antiretroviral medication.

52. UNAIDS noted the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan 2011 to 2015 as well as the National Strategy for Most at Risk Populations 2011-2015. The former strategy focuses on reduction of infections in the next five years with a virtual elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and sustaining and scaling up the proportion of PLHIV on treatment, whereas the latter is to further address HIV needs of most-at-risk populations and prevent human rights abuses against them.

53. UNICEF stated that compulsory and free basic education, since 2005, had contributed to an increase in the national net enrolment rate, from 69 per cent in 2005/2006 to 84 per cent in 2009/2010. However, an estimated 650,000 children remain out of school. Stark regional disparities in enrolment, attendance and transition persist. The quality of education being received by Ghanaian children in school is a source of major and increasing concern. Many Ghanaian children complete primary education without attaining functional literacy or numeracy as a result of lack of textbooks, overcrowded classrooms and lack of trained teachers.

54. UNDP indicated that some communities in the North, Western and Eastern Regions of the country do not have access to basic education and that there are about 5000 schools under trees in various parts of the country but predominantly in the Northern parts.

55. WFP stated that there is a high level of illiteracy among girls. This disparity is attributed to various cultural and socio-economic factors such as parents’ attitude to education, child labour, mothers’ educational level and sexual harassment of girls.

56. UNICEF and UN Women stated that women and children with disabilities comprise a group whose rights are often violated; they are often subjected to neglect, discrimination, and abuse and that they are often denied the right to an education. There are families andcommunities who customarily conceal or deny the existence of the disabled among them. The passage of the Disability Act in 2006 has not resulted in enough concrete positive action in favour of children and others with disabilities.

Summary of stakeholders' information

3. Joint Submission 3 (JS3) advised that Ghana ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

15. ERI indicated that children without family are the most discriminated against in many ways, especially in the traditional homes. They drop out from school to do all the oddjobs of the family. Local estimates, in some rural areas, suggest that 20 per cent of children fall into this category. ERI recommended that Ghana protect the rights of its most vulnerable children, by establishing programmes to ensure their full participation in education and employment.

30. JS3 stated that the incidence of defilement remains high with girls being the overwhelming majority of victims and that the persistence of harmful customary practices poses a threat to girls‘ development. AI expressed concern that, although female genital mutilation was made a criminal offence in 1994, the practice continues, particularly in the North of Ghana.

32. The Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (GIEACPC) stated that corporal punishment of children was lawful in Ghana, despite repeated recommendations to prohibit by the treaty bodies and during Ghana‘s initial UPR in 2008. There has been no change in the legality of corporal punishment of children in Ghana since its initial UPR in 2008. Corporal punishment is unlawful as a sentence for crime and in prison, but it is lawful in the home, school, alternative care settings and penal institutions such as borstal institutions and industrial institutions. GIEACPC expressed its hope that the Human Rights Council will note with concern the repeated and unfulfilled treaty body recommendations on corporal punishment and Ghana‘s failure to enact prohibition. It recommended that Ghana enact legislation to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home, as a matter of priority.

33. The World Vision Ghana (WV Ghana) indicated that children are found in the mining industry and at stone quarries cracking stones to sell. The majority are on the streets to fend for themselves due to parental neglect, death of parents or poverty. Most of these children are exposed to all kinds of danger, including rape, being deceived and kidnapped for use in rituals and even trafficking.

34. ERI recommended that the Ghana establish a Task Force to work closely with the police in bringing to justice those who exploit children and to report to the Government on progress in reducing child exploitation and that Ghana address the underlying issues of poverty and child abuse and neglect, with the aim of reducing such exploitation.

38. WV Ghana indicated that, though Ghana has the juvenile justice legislations and related policies to ensure children in conflict with the law are given age appropriate trials and incarceration, these are not enforced.

39. CHRI stated that the Juvenile Justice Act (2003) suffers from many gaps and a lack of implementation by court and police officials. Juveniles are held with adults, they are not brought to court within 48 hours, and they are never offered bail by the police. Facilities for juvenile suspects are in disrepair, the juvenile court in Accra only operates once a week, outside of Accra juvenile courts barely exist at all, and Child Panels and Probation Committees meet irregularly.

61. ERI stated that drug and alcohol addiction among adolescents is increasing. One estimate is that 40 per cent of youth may be abusing alcohol or other drugs. Accordingly, many of the adolescents end up in psychiatric care.

62. WV Ghana stated that the Government has taken pragmatic steps to construct 1,226 schools wich are at various stages of completion to increase accessibility and reduce the number of children learning under trees and in deplorable conditions.

63. JS1 stated that the quality of education is questioned as functionally illiterate children continue to pass out of the basic schools, especially the public schools. Furthermore, deeply held cultural beliefs and practices still manifest in the discrimination against the girl child, resulting in families not supporting girl child education.

64. ERI stated that, although school attendance rate is high in Ghana, drop-out rates are a concern. Pupils may leave school early due to family problems. Furthermore, access to education is not equal between children of well-to-do families and the less wealthy or underprivileged ones (70 per cent of Ghana‘s children). The northern part of Ghana is less developed in both natural resources and human resources. The gap is wide between the South and North of Ghana, in both quality of education and access to educational resources.

65. AHR stated that the Buduburam Refugee Community School, one of the larger schools in Buduburam, charges school fees of USD10 per term for a three-term school year. A handful of schools in Buduburam are church-run, but even students who attend these tuition-free schools must purchase uniforms. As a result of these costs, many refugee children do not attend school or attend only sporadically.

Accepted and Rejected Recommendations

The following recommendations were accepted:

A - 123.1. Expedite the ratification of the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the child (CRC) (India);

A - 123.2. Ratify the two Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OP-CRC-AC), and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (OP-CRC-SC) (Sudan);

A - 123.3. Ratify OP-CRC-AC and OP-CRC-SC (Greece);

A - 123.4. Consider early ratification of the newest OP to CRC on a communications procedure (Slovakia);

A - 123.17. Redouble its efforts to ensure the protection of the rights of women and children (Luxembourg);

A - 123.20. Explicitly prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home (Austria);

A - 123.23. Carry out awareness-raising campaigns to promote the birth registration of all children, particularly those living in poverty, and adopt necessary measures to guarantee effective access to free birth registrations for new-borns (Mexico);

124. The following recommendation enjoys the support of Ghana, which considers that it is already implemented:

A - 124.7. Ensure the separation of juveniles and adults in prison cells, through, inter alia, establishing juvenile detention centres (Namibia);

125. The following recommendations enjoy the support of Ghana, which considers that they are in the process of implementation.

A - 125.2. Consider the ratification of CRPD, and OP-CRC-SC (Rwanda);

A - 125.10. Accelerate the adoption of pending bills and intensify efforts in order to see more strengthened implementation of the measures decided and instruments created, including in terms of the difficult fight against harmful traditional practices, protection of children, inequality of rights between sexes, and access to justice and strengthening of its effectiveness (Cape Verde);

A - 125.28. Allocate more resources for establishing shelters for women subject to domestic violence and provide accommodation services for girls deprived of access to education (Turkey);

A - 125.31. Ensure that effective and prompt investigations are carried out into all allegations of domestic violence and female genital mutilation, and that those responsible are brought to justice (Norway);

A - 125.32. Continue its efforts in the field of women’s rights in order to, amongst other things, enforce the 2007 Domestic Violence Act and laws prohibiting harmful practices against women, including trokosi and female genital mutilation (Brazil); and provide accommodation services for girls deprived of access to education (Turkey);

A - 125.29. Intensify efforts to address gender disparities and combat violence against women including through the strengthening of law enforcement in accordance with its Domestic Violence Act as well as media and education programmes aimed at increasing public awareness and sensitivities on the rights of women (Malaysia);

A - 125.30. Further strengthen the system, including through adequate funding, to allow all victims of violence to receive protection, services including coverage of the costs of their medical examination and to eliminate long delays in court proceedings (Czech Republic);

A - 125.31. Ensure that effective and prompt investigations are carried out into all allegations of domestic violence and female genital mutilation, and that those responsible are brought to justice (Norway);

A - 125.32. Continue its efforts in the field of women’s rights in order to, amongst other things, enforce the 2007 Domestic Violence Act and laws prohibiting harmful practices against women, including trokosi and female genital mutilation (Brazil);

A - 125.33. Take steps to fully implement the 2007 Domestic Violence Act, inter alia by ensuring that effective and prompt investigations are carried out for any allegations of domestic violence and female genital mutilation, and that those responsible are brought to justice (Canada);

A - 125.34. Continue to fight against female genital mutilation (Italy);

A - 125.35. Continue efforts to fight against female genital mutilation (Senegal);

A - 125.36. Step up efforts to fight female genital mutilation (Uganda);

A - 125.37. Effectively prevent and prosecute female genital mutilation (Germany);

A - 125.38. Adopt all measures, as a matter of priority, to eliminate female genital mutilation (Greece);

A - 125.39. Establish awareness campaigns on the prohibition of harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation and Trokosi (Switzerland);

A - 125.40. Intensify measures to prevent and combat harmful traditional practices, including female genital mutilation, which occur especially in rural areas, and to investigate such acts in order to prosecute and punish the perpetrators (Uruguay);

A - 125.43. Exert all efforts to ensure traditional practices are compatible with human rights obligations, including female genital mutilation, through enhancing the enforceability of relevant laws in a proper way (Republic of Korea);

A - 125.48. Enhance the prevention of and combat trafficking in human beings, including internal and cross-border trafficking of women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labour, by inter alia implementing anti-trafficking legislation, protecting victims and offering necessary help and assistance (Poland);

A - 125.49. Take all necessary measures for the prevention and combating of child trafficking, and for the provision of effective remedies for victims (Republic of Korea);

A - 125.50. Prohibit all forms of corporal punishment of children and ratify the three Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Portugal);

A - 125.51. Take urgent measures to eradicate child labour and child trafficking (Spain);

A - 125.52. Fully implement the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System and link these efforts with programmes to promote remediation and ensure adequate resources for the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit for the pursuit of prosecutions (United States of America);

A - 125.53. Implement more effectively the legal framework prohibiting child labour (Italy);

A - 125.54. Take necessary measures that would reduce, at the first stage, the widespread use of child labour (Turkey);

A - 125.55. Continue its combat against the use of child labour, especially in the mining industry and cocoa production, including implementation of measures on their rehabilitation, reintegration and education (Thailand);

A - 125.56. Identify and implement best practices to combat child labour in violation of international standards in the fishing industry on Lake Volta (United States of America);

A - 125.59. Fully implement the 2003 law on juvenile justice (Algeria);

A - 125.60. Intensify its efforts to address the problem of birth registration since lack of birth registration makes children born in poor families vulnerable to other human rights violations, including human trafficking (Botswana);

A - 125.61. Continue the efforts to improve the birth registration figures, having in mind that considerable improvement has already been achieved, as birth registration increased from around 30 per cent in 2000 to over 60 per cent in 2010 (Brazil);

A - 125.67. Continue efforts to improve the mental health sector and combat maternal mortality (Djibouti);

A - 125.78. Continue with its efforts in enhancing girls’ access to primary, secondary and tertiary education (Sri Lanka);

A - 125.79. Make further efforts to increase girls’enrolment in school, as well as awareness-raising in society regarding the importance of girls’ education (Sudan);

A - 125.80. Protect the rights of its most vulnerable children and ensure their full participation in education (Estonia);

A - 125.81. Continue its efforts to increase the national net enrolment rate for compulsory and free basic education and to further improve the quality of education being received by Ghanaian children in school, in line with the observations made by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (Bulgaria);

No relevant recommendations were rejected.

No recommendations are pending or no clear decision was taken.




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