Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/8023
"Children are agents of change." Participation of children in Ghana
Development aid agencies are increasingly implementing approaches which focus on human rights in policy and program making. One such approach is the rights-based approach to development which allows local people, including children, to participate in projects which aim to strengthen the society’s infrastructure. The objective of this study is to seek understanding of children’s participation in Ghana where fieldwork was conducted from September to December 2010. The study was based on qualitative methodology including participant observation, interviews, focus group discussions and creative methods, both among adults and children related to the subject.
The results of this study show that Ghana is quite preeminent when it comes to child rights, where many agreements have been ratified and legislated. Children are very active in the country and a number of organisations and agencies, both local and international work to enhance their participation and rights. Few factors were identified as obstacles to participation, mostly related to cultural hierarchy and lack of implementation by governmental institutions. With a cultural hierarchy that places children at the bottom of the ladder, below seniors and government that seems to be better in signing than implementing agreements, there are surprisingly many active participation projects in the country. Although there is still more work to be done in Ghana so children’s participation can be defined really child-friendly, all the potentials exist, if that is the promoter’s aims. However, the question is how children, organisations, the government and other stakeholders will perform in balance with cultural and public requirements.
Key words: Development Studies, children, participation, child rights, Ghana, culture, rights-based approach, human rights, development aid