The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection will from September 2017 embark on a project aimed at getting children of school going age off the street.

Speaking on the project, the sector minister, Madam Afisa Djaba said: “Come September, at least the children of school going age must be off the street, it is not only Ministry which is doing this, we are coordinating but the ownership must come from all of us including the parents”.

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According to her, the increasing number of children on the streets shows that the extended family values and governance systems which should protect such children have weakened.

“As a Ministry, we are focusing on the issue today because of the need to stop this harmful and hazardous practice that infringes on the right of the child to education, to play and to be protected from physical, mental and psychological abuse.”

She noted that because her Ministry understood that dignity and full potential of children may be threatened, “we have developed a comprehensive document which will be the basis for the implementation of the programme.”

Madam Djaba added that the project would work under short, medium and long term strategies and would link the extremely poor to pro-poor interventions like LEAP, the LEAP 1000 and the planting for food and jobs programmes of the government.

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“We will conduct a mapping exercise to collect data on street children in identified areas where streetism is a major concern, once identified, our teams will conduct several operations to systematically rescue them.

“We will have to keep on with the interaction and argument that Ghana, 60 years on we cannot afford to have people living on the streets, begging and selling,” she said.