A Consultant from the World Future Council Foundation’s Rights of Children and Youth programme, Ramana Shareef has been briefed members of Parliament’s Gender and Children committee about the significance of implementing the One-Stop Centre Child Protection model in the Country.
The model which was derived from the emergency and humanitarian sector has gained footing in the development sector due to its ability to strengthen in-country mechanisms with long term effects in addressing abuses towards children.
Violence against children (VAC) is a common reality for many children in Ghana. In most cases, limited action is taken to seek medical and or psychosocial help for the victims and their families.
Also, the prosecution is very rare as violence against children is considered a private matter and mainly solved within the household or the community.
There are low levels of awareness of survivors’ rights and limited access to social and psychological, legal, health services for survivors which contribute to high levels of underreporting and leave children alone to cope with the trauma of violence.
The unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and the measures taken to handle it has had a devastating impact on children and the progress already made to achieve an end to VAC nationally and internationally.
In view of this, consultant Ramana Shareef was charged to engage some Parliamentarians on the importance of revamping the chid naturing in the country.
Addressing the MPs Miss Shareef said, “A successful child protection system requires collaboration at multi-coordinated and interdisciplinary layers, beginning with prevention, but also implementation of adequate response services for intervention. The One-Stop Centre model (OSC) is a good example of how multisectoral collaboration can incorporate various services under one umbrella institution to address both the immediate and long-term needs of victims of VAC as an intervention mechanism.”
“With the One Stop Centre, you will have all the essential services needed for survivors of abuse under one roof. The police, social welfare, medical personnel, and legal aid, all working together in one centre. This will cut a lot of the bottlenecks that prevent people from reporting abuse cases.”
The advocated One Stop Centre model will support the strengthening of the implementation of the child protection system in Ghana as set out in the Child and Family Welfare Policy of 2015.
The World Future Council has been working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection since 2018, after an international conference on child protection was held in Zanzibar in 2017 where the One-Stop-Centre model was introduced.
Participating Ghanaian government officials expressed interest in implementing the model in Ghana which led to the World Future Council conducting a technical workshop in Ho later in 2018 with key Ghanaian stakeholders working on child protection and representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection as well Ministry of Interior.
Together with experts from Zanzibar they explored, during the three-day workshop, its feasibility for Ghana and agreed on a pilot roadmap to start in Accra. A Communique was issued and a Ghana structure was developed to guide implementation.
The meeting with the Members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee was to introduce the model to them and seek their support to aid the implementation.