Source: All Africa
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has formulated and launched a Child and Family Welfare Policy (CFWP) which is designed to prevent and protect children from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The Policy is also designed to ensure the effective co-ordination of all child and family welfare systems, and empower children and families to better understand abusive situations and make choices to prevent and respond to situations of risk.

The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Nana Oye Lithur, made these known when the Ministry took its turn at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra, yesterday, to update the media on the work done by the Ministry towards advancing the "Better Ghana" Agenda for all Ghanaians.

Hon. Nana Oye Lithur disclosed that a Justice for Children Policy was also almost complete and that about 4,000 persons had already been consulted at the national, regional and community levels as part of the process of the policy formulation.

On the Affirmative Action bill, she said the document had been finalized by the Ministry and would soon be submitted to cabinet for consideration, adding that when passed, the Law would carefully identify and effectively redress areas of social, cultural, economic and educational imbalances, and ensure gender equality in Ghana. An Affirmative Action law would also rectify historical wrongs by mandating that certain opportunities be made available to those distinguished by gender, minority or under-represented status.

Touching on social development, Hon. Lithur said, the name of the Department of Social Welfare had been changed to the Department of Social Development to reflect the welfare and service roles played by the Department. The Ministry, she said, had started a project titled "From Street to School", aimed at re-uniting street children with their families, adding that "147 street children have been identified in the Tema Manhean area, with 13 have sent back to school but 47 have refused to go to school". On child adoption in the country, she said, the Ministry was in the process of establishing a Central Adoption Authority which would be responsible for processing all inter-country adoptions and for liaising with other central authorities.

Hon. Lithur disclosed that the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) project had, since January 2013, seen a number of operational improvements like MIS, a robust Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework, e-payment pilot and improved management practices. She said welfare cards which would be used under the "Eban" Elderly Welfare Card Project, would enable senior citizens to enjoy preferential treatment or priority in the use of some social services such as skipping queues in banks, hospitals and bus terminals.

Hon. Lithur said the welfare cards would also enable all old people, 65 years and above, to board the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) bus at a 50 per cent reduced fare.

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