GHANA: Protect Us From Abuse - Kids Appeal To MPs
The event provided a platform for the children to question parliamentarians and also sought clarification on issues bordering on teenage pregnancy, child labour, sex education and reporting abuse cases.
Other areas of concern to them were the country’s education policies, school feeding programme, female genital mutilation (FGM) sexual harassment in school and the need to consult them on issues that affect them.
The children contended that most of their mates did not know much about their rights because of which some adults took advantage of their ignorance to abuse them.
They, called for measures to deal with adults who violated the rights of children and further sought to know where such offenders could be reported apart from the Police Service.
On harassment, the children alleged that some teachers sexually harassed them, particularly, the females and wanted to know what the parliamentarians could do to solve the problem.
In line with that , the children appealed to parents to help teachers to educate them on their sexuality and not see sex education as a way of over-exposing them to sex.
The Parliamentarians, who were led by the Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Madam Akua Sena Dansoa and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Children and Gender, Sampson Ahi advised children to always report anyone who abused their rights.
They told the children that harassment of any form was criminal. They cited female genital mutilation as barbaric and urged the children not to cover up such criminal acts.
On their rights, the parliamentarians said even though children had rights, they also had responsibilities towards themselves, their parents and their community.
Madam Dansoa told the children that there were laws protecting them against abuse but blamed the problem on implementation and the unwillingness of people, especially children to expose those who abuse them.
She assured them that they would be protected if they reported such offenders and cited an instance where a girl reported to the ministry that her parents wanted to marry her off to an old man and the ministry reacted swiftly to save the girl from forced marriage.
“I personally informed DOVSU and together with other personnel, the father of the girl had been apprehended and the girl is currently free from that old man and enjoying her childhood . You must have the courage to report such people,” she told the children.
SOURCE: Graphic Ghana
AUTHOR: Severious Kale Dery
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