Held by the Committee: 19 and 20 May

Published by the Committee: 9 June 2015

Issues raised:



The Committee reiterates its concern (CRC/C/GHA/CO/2, para. 25) that discrimination against certain groups of children, particularly girls, children with disabilities, unaccompanied or separated asylum seeking children, children of migrants, children of asylum-seekers, children infected and/or affected by HIV/AIDS, children living in rural areas and children in street situations still exists in practice. (Para. 21)

Birth registration:

 The Committee reiterates its concerns (CRC/C/GHA/CO/2, para. 32) about the many challenges faced by the State party such as understaffing and inadequate funding and about the difficulties in ensuring, particularly, the birth registration of children in rural areas as well as of asylum-seeking and refugee children. (Para. 29)


The Committee is concerned that nationality at birth is not granted to children born on the territory of the State party who would otherwise be stateless. (Para. 31)

Access to appropriate information:

The Committee is concerned about the disparity in access to digital information and the risks posed by digital media, information and communication technologies (ICTs) to the safety of children. It is further concerned about the fact that reporting on children in the media at times violates their right to privacy and dignity. (Para. 33)

Violence against children, including abuse and neglect and corporal punishment:

The Committee expresses its deep concern about the high incidence of domestic violence, gender-based violence, and child abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse and incest, mainly in the family, schools and care institutions, mostly affecting girls.  Corporal punishment is still being widely practiced in society, its acceptance as a  form  of  discipline  and  the  Children’s  Act  still  allowing  for  a  degree  of  “reasonable”  and   “justifiable”  punishment. (Para. 35)

Harmful practices:

The Committee is deeply concerned about the increase of forced and early marriage of children, especially of girls, in the State party. The prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM), especially in rural and traditional communities despite the positive actions taken by the State party criminalizing harmful practices. Furthermore, the  cultural  practice  of  accusing  some  girls  of  being  witches,  thereby   subjecting  them  to  violence  and  confining  them  in  ‘witch  camps.’ (Para. 37)

Trokosi (ritual servitude):

The Committee is deeply concerned about the prevalence the practice of Trokosi (ritual servitude), especially in rural and traditional communities- and the fact that no single case has been reported and investigated.Although the practice of Trokosi has been criminalized in the State party since 1998, the Committee is deeply concerned about the prevalence of this practice- especially in rural and traditional communities- and the fact that no single case has been reported and investigated. (Para. 39)

Family environment:

The Committee remains concerned about the situation of children from single-parent families and those from disadvantaged and marginalized groups. (Para. 41)

Children deprived of a family environment:

The Committee is concerned about the increasing number of children living outside their family environment placed in institutions due to socioeconomic pressures.  The poor conditions of a number of alternative care centers for children, including lack of proper records, care plans, licensing, registration, monitoring and quality services and (Para. 43)

Adoption/ Foster care:

The Committee is concerned that Informal kinship and informal foster care mechanisms are  under strain due to socioeconomic pressures.  he fact that adoption practices in the State party lack proper oversight and monitoring mechanisms, render the present legislation on adoption inadequate. Despite some positive effects, the continued placement of a moratorium on adoption (domestic and inter country) in the State party since 2013 contributing to the prolonged stay of children in institutions and to illegal adoption. The lack of a Central Authority for Adoption in charge of, inter alia, compiling a national data base of adoptable children and, the negative effects of the decentralization of the court decisions on inter-country adoption between Low and High Courts. Furthermore,  some   orphanages   are   allegedly   operating   as   ‘illegal   adoption  agencies.’ (Para. 43 &45)

Children with disabilities:

However, the Committee notes with deep concern that children with disabilities, especially those with mental disabilities, are victims to a higher extent of abuse, violence, stigma and exclusion, particularly in traditional communities. Children with disabilities confined in psychiatric institutions and the so- called   “prayer   camps”   compromising  their  development, and are   being   subjected   to   inhumane   and   degrading   treatment   due   to   cultural and traditional beliefs.There is limited access to inclusive education and well-trained teachers. (Para. 25& 47)

Health and health services:

However, the Committee is concerned about the insufficient funding allocated to the health sector, despite its increase; and insufficient number of qualified and experienced healthcare provider staff as well as an inequitable distribution nationwide. This has caused regional disparities in the provision of health services, as mentioned in its previous concern. The fact that neonatal mortality accounts for 60 percent  of  infants’ deaths in the State party. The persistent high maternal mortality rates, includes pregnant teenagers and adolescent mothers. The decline of breastfeeding rates between 2008 and 2011 and the insufficient monitoring on the implementation of the Breastfeeding Promotion Regulation 2000 (BPR). The high numbers of malnourished and severely stunted children, particularly in rural areas (Para. 49 and 25).

Adolescent health, including drug and substance abuse:

The Committee reiterates its concern (para. 51) about the high incidence of adolescent pregnancies, the inadequate reproductive health and mental health services for adolescents, as well as the high numbers of illegal and unsafe abortions of adolescents. The Committee further reiterates its concern (para. 71) about children and adolescents being affected by alcohol and drug abuse (Para. 51).


The Committee is concerned about the continued high prevalence rate of HIV; The limited number of HIV-infected children and mothers having access to antiretroviral medication as well as about limited HIV/AIDS testing; The high rate of child mortality due to AIDS; The high number of orphan children infected and affected with AIDS in the State party. (Para. 53)

Access to safe drinking water and sanitation:

The Committee remains concerned about the widespread and severe regional  disparities  in  the  implementation  of  children’s  rights.  It  is  further  concerned  about   the limited access of children to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, particularly in rural areas. (Para. 55)

Education, including vocational training and guidance:

The Committee is, however, concerned that the education system continues to face serious challenges, and is particularly concerned about the fact that primary education is not genuinely free, particularly due to the limited efficacy and efficiency of the Free Compulsory Basic Education Policy and the Capitation Grant because of the monetary contributions parents and/or guardians still have to make by paying levies, mainly affecting children in difficult socio economic situations. The persisting gender and geographical disparities with regard to access to and quality of education,  and  the  lack  of  teachers  as  well  as  teachers’  absenteeism is a significant concern. Furthermore, girls still facing difficulties in accessing secondary education. Furthermore, a significant proportion of children living in rural areas, children with disabilities, children from poor households, working children, orphaned children, and children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS being deprived of their right to education, and remaining out of school.Private education developing very quickly, without the necessary supervision regarding the conditions of enrolment, the quality of education provided, and the transparency and efficiency in the management of education resources. Lastly, there have also been several challenges encountered while implementing the School Feeding Program, including, for instance, inadequate program monitoring due to limited resources;   (Para. 57) 

Asylum-seeking, refugee and unaccompanied children:

The Committee is concerned about the limited legal and procedural guarantees and assistance for asylum-seeking children and unaccompanied or separated asylum-seeking children during the refugee status determination procedures. (Para. 59)

Economic exploitation, including child labour:

The Committee is concerned that the enforcement of the existing legal framework and policies is inadequate, the NPA is not effectively implemented and children remain exposed to hazardous labour, mainly affecting their education and health, especially in fisheries, mining, quarrying and in the so-called   “prayer   camps”,   ritual   servitude   (Trokosi),  commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, portering of heavy loads, agriculture and street begging. (Para. 61)

Sexual exploitation:

The Committee regrets that the State party has not presented information on the studies undertaken by the State party to ascertain the scope and magnitude of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CRC/C/GHA/CO/2, para.67). The Committee remains concerned (CRC/C/GHA/CO/2, para. 68) about the fact that sexual exploitation of children, particularly commercial sexual exploitation, is growing in the State party. (Para. 63)

Children in street situations:

The Committee regrets the lack of information about the findings of this study and remains concerned about the absence of national data available on the prevalence of children living and working in the streets. (Para. 65)

Sale, trafficking and abduction:

The Committee is concerned about the insufficient implementation of the anti-trafficking legal and policy frameworks and the limited coordination among relevant institutions in this regard the lack of formal agreements with neighbouring countries concerning child trafficking and the limited number of investigations and prosecution of trafficking offenses. The lack of protective mechanisms and services to safeguard children at risk of being subject to trafficking and the lack of data on the number of children trafficked, as mentioned , is also of concern. (para. 67)

Administration of juvenile justice:

The Committee is concerned about the evident gap between law and practice, particularly between law and community approaches dealing with child justice issues the limited functioning of the Child Panels established by the  Children’s  Act  to deal with children in conflict with the law. The lack of specialized juvenile court facilities and procedures.The limited alternatives to detention for children in the Juvenile Justice Act and the limited number of existent remand homes. Furthermore, Children are being detained in adult detention facilities, contrary to the Juvenile Justice Act, as noted in its previous concerns. (para. 69)



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