Committee on the Rights of the Child: Ghana

Session 069 (2015)

(9 June 2015, CRC/C/GHA/C0/3-5 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on third-fifth report, paras. 7, 8, 35 and 36)

"The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to address its previous recommendations of 2006 (CRC/C/GHA/CO/2) that have not been implemented or not sufficiently implemented in particular those related to data collection, dissemination, corporal punishment , HIV/AIDS , harmful practices , child labour and juvenile justice. 

"The Committee welcomes the adoption of various child-related legislative measures. Nevertheless, the Committee reiterates its concern about their insufficient implementation and, in some instances, the evident gap between law and practice.

"The Committee welcomes the number of measures undertaken by the State party to address domestic violence and eliminate corporal punishment against children, particularly through the Child and Family Welfare Policy and the setting up of complaints procedures. However, the Committee expresses its deep concern about:

a) 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;

b) corporal punishment being still widely practised in society, its acceptance as a form of discipline and the Children’s Act still allowing for a degree of “reasonable” and “justifiable” punishment. 

"Recalling the recommendations of the United Nations study on violence against children of 2006 (A/61/299), the Committee recommends that the State party prioritize the elimination of all forms of violence against children. While recommending that the State party take into account general comment No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, and general comment No. 8 (2006) on corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, the Committee reiterates its previous recommendation (para. 37) and in particular requests the State party to:

a) amend all legislation in order to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment as “reasonable” and “justifiable” correction or discipline, particularly in the Children’s Act (1998) and the Juvenile Justice Act (2003);

b) pay particular attention to and address the gender dimension of violence;

c) further strengthen awareness-raising and education programmes — including campaigns — with the involvement of children, in order to formulate a comprehensive strategy for preventing and combating child abuse and corporal punishment;

d) establish a national database on all cases of domestic violence against children and child abuse, and undertake a comprehensive assessment of the extent, causes and nature of such violence;

e) ensure the allocation of adequate human, technical and financial resources to all domestic violence and child abuse related entities to enable them to implement long-term programmes for addressing the root causes of violence and abuse;

f) encourage community-based programmes aimed at preventing and tackling domestic violence, child abuse and neglect and corporal punishment, including by involving former victims, volunteers and community members, and providing training support to them.

g) ensure the availability and quality of prevention, protection, access to justice, rehabilitation and reintegration programmes, including health services and psychosocial support, free helplines and adequate shelters for victims;

h) ensure children’s access to justice, including by providing legal support and making available child-friendly and confidential complaint mechanisms in institutions, schools, detention centres, hospitals and any other relevant setting."

Read more from Session 069 (2015)

Session 041 (2006)

(17 March 2006, CRC/C/GHA/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 7, 36 and 37)

"The Committee notes with satisfaction that some concerns and recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.73) made upon consideration of the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/15/Add.39) have been addressed through legislative measures and policies. However, recommendations regarding, inter alia, data collection, corporal punishment and child labour, have not been given sufficient follow-up. The Committee notes that those concerns and recommendations are reiterated in the present document.

"While noting the State party’s steps to prohibit the use of corporal punishment in educational settings and in particular through prohibitions outlined in the Teacher’s Hand Book, corporal punishment is still widely practised in society and its acceptance as a form of discipline gives cause for serious concern. The Committee is concerned that the Children’s Act allows for a degree of ‘reasonable’ and ‘justifiable’ punishment.

"The Committee recommends that the State party should, taking into account its General Comment No. 1 on the aims of education (CRC/GC/2001/1) and its recommendations, adopted on the day of general discussion on violence against children within the family and in schools (see CRC/C/111):

a) explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in the family, schools, and other institutional settings and alternative care systems as a matter of priority;

b) sensitize and educate parents, guardians and professionals working with and for children by carrying out public educational campaigns with the involvement of children about the harmful impact of violent forms of ‘discipline’ and by promoting positive, non-violent forms of discipline and respect of child rights."

Read more from Session 041 (2006)

Session 015 (1997)

(18 June 1997, CRC/C/15/Add.73, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 16 and 36)

"The Committee is deeply concerned by the institutionalized use of corporal punishment as a means of discipline, particularly in schools, as well as at the absence of a comprehensive law that clearly prohibits the use of both mental and physical torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment against children.

"In light of articles 3, 19 and 28.2, the Committee strongly recommends that corporal punishment be prohibited by law and that references to disciplinary measures using physical force, such as caning, be withdrawn from the Teachers Handbook. It further recommends that authorities develop and implement appropriate creative and socio-educational measures of discipline which respect all the rights of the child."

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Country report

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