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Child Rights International drags AG to Supreme Court

Child Rights International has dragged the Attorney General to the Supreme Court over child streetism.

The applicant is asking the apex court to declare that the government is in breach of articles 15(1), (2), 13(1) and 35(4) of the 1992 Constitution for not taking urgent steps to ensure that children receive special protection against exposure to physical and moral hazards as enshrined in the Constitution of Ghana, 1992.

Mr. Bright Appiah confirmed the story and said the writ was filed to address national security threat child streetism posed to the nation, to give meaning to children’s right to education and ensure children in Ghana are given proper care like others in advanced democracies.

Checks with the court registry indicated the writ was filed on March 3, 2022.

The plaintiff said he initiated the instant action in his capacity as a registered organisation interested in upholding the respect for and compliance with the Constitution, 1992 and the rule of law, and in ensuring that the rules in question do not infringe the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution.

In his writ to invoke the original jurisdiction of the highest court of the land, the applicant further prayed the court to state whether on a true and proper interpretation of clauses (1) (c)and (d) clauses (2), (3) and (4) of article 28 of the Constitution and clauses (1) and (2) of article 15, clause (1) of article 13 and clause (4) of article 35 of the Constitution, the current conditions of Children living on the streets in Ghana are inconsistent with the said provisions.

The applicant whose work seeks to protect and safeguard the social, educational and constitutional rights is asking the court for a number of reliefs and declaration.

Among them were declaration that the Government of Ghana is in breach of
articles 25(a), 28 (1) (a), (d), (2) (3) (4), 13(1) and 37 of the 1992 Constitution for not taking urgent steps to ensure that children receive special protection against exposure to physical and moral hazards, do not engage in work that constitutes a threat to their health, education or development and that children are not deprived of medical treatment, education or an social or economic benefit.

Mr. Appiah, therefore, urged the court to make an order directed at Government of Ghana to establish Child Protection Units in cities where child is at high levels.

He wants an order directed at Government of Ghana to define by law penalties for family members, local government units and schools which do not guarantee the observance of children in street situation rights.

An order directed at Government of Ghana to define by law penalties for child exploitation for begging or other forms of economic exploitation, to punish all those who may try to
benefit or gain money from children’s work.

An order directed at Government of Ghana to improve the Law on healthcare by defining by law the provision of free primary health services to all poor children, children living in street situation or children in emergency situations.

An order directed at Government of Ghana to provide rules and procedures to be followed for the provision of free basic medical services to poor children, children in street situation or children in emergency situations and the agencies that can ask for this help on behalf of children.

An order directed at Government of Ghana to implement mechanisms to control and enforce the legal framework guaranteeing education for all children.

An order directed at Government of Ghana defining by law the facilitation procedures related to school enrollment of children in street situation and their provision with the necessary didactic material.

An order directed at Government of Ghana to submit to the court, not later than three months from the date of final judgment, a plan of action detailing all the steps, strategies, and measurable targets by which the defendants undertake to obey and perform the orders contained in the reliefs the applicant is seeking.

An order directed at Government of Ghana to submit to the Court, two years from the date of final judgment and thereafter, every six months until the expiry of the three-year plan of action, a report particularising all the steps taken, and targets met in obeying the orders of the court.

Source: B&FT

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