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Ghana's Children's Act 560: A Rethink of its Implementation?

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In 1998 Ghana harmonised its child care legislation to conform to the Convention on the Rights of the Child by enacting the Children's Act 1998, Act 560. Some stakeholders expressed misgivings at its capacity to ensure child protection, but little literature exists on the views of professionals working within the law. This paper presents an investigation of the views of professionals who are mandated to work within the law to ensure the rights of the child to legal protection in Ghana. The findings suggest that there is a gap between legal intent and practice. It is concluded from these findings that for better child protection, the provision of legal rights for children is only an initial step; the administrative framework including better professional training, adequate resources for social care agencies and the establishment of new structures also needs to be reconsidered.

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Research in Social Policy, Loughborough University; 2: Institute of Child Care Research, Queen's University of Belfast (until his death on 10th April 2010)


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