Child Asset Development In Freedom (CADIF)


Problem 1: Child Sexual abuse and exploitation

Based on a little research by ACN registered Office in Ghana, there is significant evidence that child sexual abuse and exploitation is a rising problem in Ghana. Records of the Domestic Violence Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Police Service indicate that every year quite a number of children and adolescents go through series of sexual abuses. The commonest forms of child sexual abuse and exploitation that gets to the attention of DOVVSU include unnatural carnal knowledge, defilement, rape, incest, indecent assault among other forms of child sexual abuse. 

There is not much statistical data available on child Sexual abuse and exploitation incidences in Ghana even though evidence abounds that it is gaining grounds in the country. Some of the major causes of child sexual abuse in Ghana are lack of parental support which stems from poverty, broken marriages and parental irresponsibility and peer pressure. There’s also a range of  child sexual abuse offense including forced marriage, procurement, causing or encouraging the seduction or prostitution of a child under 16, which are also on the rise in all regions of the country. In most rural areas of the Northern region of Ghana, studies of ACN officials shows that children as little as 10 years old are forced into marriages by their parents as a result of extreme poverty, some are trafficked to the big cities of Ghana and neighboring countries like Burkina Faso and beyond. During this trafficking period, almost all of this children are sexual abused and exploited. When they arrive at their smuggled destinations, the adolescent ones are forced into secret prostitution and the very little ones are forced into child labor working excessively for their Criminal pay masters. There are similar criminal activities happening in all the 10 regions of Ghana as evidence shows that its currently on the rise. Africa Compassion Network (ACN) with it’s Branch in Ghana will work tirelessly to end this criminal activity of child sex abuse and exploitation. 

Problem 2: Street Children.

The phenomenon of street children is a growing concern in many developing countries, particularly in Africa. Ghana is no exception to the general trend of children fending for themselves on the streets. However, very little is known about this unique population in Ghana. This brief study by ACN staff provides a general overview of the phenomenon of street children in Ghana. This research particularly examines the experiences of street children in Ghana, how they ended up in the streets, how they survive in the streets, and abuses they suffer from being in the streets. This was only conducted in Accra, the capital. ACN is yet to conduct more studies in the other regions as well. The condition of children living and working on the streets of most urban areas in Ghana has assumed problematic dimensions because many people are beginning to identify with the situation as needing an urgent and pragmatic attention. Unfortunately, the realization of the problematic nature of the street children phenomenon has not corresponded with an aggressive response from governments to deal with the problem, its why ACN is willing to intervene. 


The government of Ghana has taken some very important steps to fight child sexual abuse and exploitation which includes passage and strengthening of the legislative environment, intensification of public education through the media, identification, counseling, livelihood skills training and reintegration. 
Government Institutions or Main Stakeholders ACN intends to collaborate with in addressing this national crisis are:



Ghana has strengthened some state institutions and established new ones to increase capacities in fighting child sexual exploitation and other child-related concerns. The establishment of the DOVVSU and the progressive expansion of its offices and desks all over the country has made it easier for children and their families to have access to the Police and Justice. Currently, DOVVSU has 79 offices nationwide in addition to the National Secretariat. Other institutions include the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, which has two main Departments (Department of Children (DOC) Department of Women (DOW). MOWAC is decentralized at the 10 administrative Regions. The Department of Social Welfare (DSW) has also gone through significant structural transformations and as a result is well resourced now than a decade ago. Africa Compassion Network (ACN) is seeking to collaborate with these Government agencies who are the Main Stakeholders to identify, counsel, offer livelihood skills training, reintegrate or resettle children whom are victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation. 

The partnership of Africa Compassion Network and these main stakeholder institutions is to conduct surveys,  intensify the awareness, strengthen Law Enforcement agencies in acting swiftly to tip-offs and 
encourage the legislature branch in prosecuting child sexual abuse and exploitation crime offenders.
Street children and our strategy to help
A little study done by our social workers shows 81% of all children on the streets are illiterate or semi-literate. Most street children we meet are amazingly self-contained. All street children need to eat, wash, use toilet facilities and buy sufficient articles of clothing. This leads me to say that street children need a chance to become literate, a chance to hustle and work rather than beg, and the opportunity to have a safe, dry place in which to sleep. There is one need, however, that is paramount. Our study shows that a street child is most vulnerable and in greatest need when he or she is sick. So, I would like to talk about the health strategies that we are currently trying to employ on the streets of Accra.We realized that street children, like all poor people in Accra, self-medicate. We also realized that our street children were suffering from all the normal sicknesses, so in order of importance they catch malaria often, and have respiratory diseases. They also have, in Accra (Capital city) at present, a high incidence rate of STDs. 
The migration of children from rural to urban areas increased, due to economic hardship. Children were driven to the streets to fend for themselves, increasing both the occurrence of child labor and the school dropout rate. During the year MOWAC officials estimated that as many as 40 thousand porters, most of whom were girls under 18, lived on the streets in major cities, including Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi. These girls were among the most vulnerable child laborers, as many also engaged in prostitution or were sexually exploited in exchange for protection while living on the streets. In 2012, survey showed 2,314 street children throughout the country, most of whom lived in the urban areas of the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions and had migrated from northern rural areas. Of those surveyed, 45.7 percent had never attended school, 98.1 percent were engaged in economic activity within the last 12 months, and 80 percent stated the work was demanding. Over three-quarters of street children surveyed reported that both parents were alive, indicating poverty was the main cause of the problem. 

It is estimated that approximately 27.2 percent of children aged 5 to 14 years in Ghana were working in 2015. These children work as cart pushers, bar-keepers, head porters, hawkers, shoe shine boys just to mention but a few. . Ignored by authorities and the public, they are often the target for exploitation, threats and violence. It will be an understatement to say that these children are suffering. At night, they sleep in kiosks and in front of stores exposing them to all kinds of diseases and thieves. Vehicles knock some down. They are easily lured into robbery, drug peddling, child prostitution, child sexual abuse and other vices. The girls are compelled to satisfy the sexual desires of their male counterparts to get food and for protection. 
Together with Main stakeholders mentioned above, Our Social workers will organize events for the youth and adolescents in the community and engage them in talks concerning the importance of education and other topics like hygiene, protective sex, HIV Aids and teenage pregnancy. 

We are highly optimistic about our ambitions of reducing or/and ending child sexual abuse and exploitation by the end of the two years project in all areas we engage in. We will compare current Ghana national statistics of child sexual abuse and exploitation  to that of the date of which our proposed project ends to see how our initiative impacted the lives of many vulnerable children. The CADIF project initiative will contribute enormously to the prevention of children Sexual abuse of any kind. The magnitude of our awareness, judicial and law enforcement campaigns and advocacy will throw more light on the problem and discourage people from committing such criminal acts.

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We are currently looking for sponsorships, partnerships and Donations from corporate entities, Civil Society organizations, government institutions and individuals to join us in executing this Initiative which will directly impact the lives of thousands of vulnerable children on the African continent.