• Ghana’s child panels: effective child protection and juvenile justice system or superfluous creation?

      Adu-Gyamfi, Jones (2019-12)
      In accordance with the United Nations’ requirements for dealing with juvenile offenders, Ghana’s Children Act 1998 mandated local authorities to establish child panels to mediate minor offences committed by children. However, to date there has not been any research that has examined the functioning and effectiveness of the child panels. This research examined the operationalisation and effectiveness of child panels in Ghana. The study involved the use of semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with panel members of four local authorities. Findings showed that the child panels are not functioning effectively in Ghana. The relevance of the child panels has been questioned since it was found to be duplicating the roles of some other child welfare agencies. This article discusses the challenges impeding the effectiveness of the child panels and outlines recommendations to improve their effectiveness.