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Child Protection policies outmoded, needs reformation – Lawyer Fenbeti

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Project facilitator for Legal Resources Centre (LRC) Lawyer Samuel Fenbeti has called on government to reform policies on child protection rights due to how children involved in offence related cases are badly handled by some police personnel.

Ghana’s child protection system he underscored is so defective that it does not suit the needs of modern Ghanaian society.

This he defended is premised on the reason that the existing legal and policy framework for child protection is module on the western concepts and traditions rather that Ghanaian social values and traditions.

Lawyer Samuel Fenbeti explained that GHANA’S culture as in the handling of children differs from that of the western countries hence the need for the introduction of policies that reflect our values.

He made this statement when he was addressing a gathering of police officers at a day’s training workshop held in Kumasi by the leadership of Legal Resources Centre (LRC) through the partnership support of the European Union.

The training formed part of the execution of LRC’s initiated project dubbed; Justice For Children: Bridging The Gap Between Legislation and Practice Project.

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Police officers who partook in Kumasi’s version were selected from Ahafo, Ashanti, Bono and Bono East regions.

The training was held under the theme; “The Role of Security Agencies in Protecting the Rights of Children”.

Speaking exclusively to TVNEWSGH.COM, Lawyer Samuel Fenbeti was quick to indicate that most police officials lack a clear understanding of most of the policies and as a result are unable to apply them effectively.

This according to him was what called the training into play so that security officers will be furnished with practical guidance on how to effectively apply the law in their dealings with children. This he underlined will go a long way to ensure that the rights of children are protected.

He continued in his word to the media that a number of police officers in Ghana do not have adequate understanding on child protection policies so they tend to deal with children who are in contact or in conflict with the law the same way they handle adults.

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Adding his voice, Master Enock Jengre who is a project officer for Legal Resources Centre (LRC) lamented over how most Ghanaian children end up being put into prison when their cases are handled by the police.

He explained that, Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) even though have the mandate to receive cases of children who come into conflict with the law, they however lack the mandate to handle such cases.

He stressed that due to the above-mentioned gap, the cases end up being transferred to the regular policing system adding that most of the children are eventually put in police cells which the law doesn’t permit.

ABOUT LRC

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) is a non-governmental organization committed to the realization of human dignity by building human rights capacities.

Established in 1998 with some offices and regional representatives across the country LRC facilitates the establishment of human rights cities at home and abroad, conduct
research, advocacy and advisory services including legal aid for individuals, organizations and communities.

At the LRC, they seek to ensure human rights for all. Works towards the promotion and protection of the rights to Health, Education, Housing, Work, Participatory Democracy, Personal Liberty and Criminal/Civil justice.

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LRC offers legal assistance to individuals, corporate entities and organizations. LRC collaborates with both state and non-state actors.

LRC implement different projects contributing towards enhancing human rights and development and aiding access to justice.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT RATIONALE?

Focus is to have the quality of life and rights of children, especially those that are
marginalised improved through the promotion, protection and development of the rights of children in Ghana.

The project recognises the need to bridge the gap between the law and practice and the need to advocate for the building of a united system that is more relevant, sustainable and “fit” for Ghana.

In achieving this, LRC collaborates with the MGCSP, Parliament, Department of Social Welfare, CHRAJ, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Prisons Service and other partners (both state and non-state actors) to help bridge that existing gap between legislation and
practice.

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