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New Form of Child Abuse Surface in N/R

2006-11-24 16:10:31
This article has been read 753 times.

African Child
Alhaji Mustapha Ali Iddris, Northern Regional Minister has expressed concern about an emergence of a new form of child abuse and exploitation, which was more serious than the "kayayee" and the child labour.

The practice known as "Taalar", is where under-aged children are engaged in petty trading and hawking from one community to another to sell even at night at the peril of their lives instead of being in school.

Alhaji Iddris was speaking at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Christian Children's Fund of Canada (CCFC), an international NGO based in Tamale.

The celebration was for the NGO to showcase its activities and successes chalked so far in the region during its 10 years of operation and also to learn public and community level support to sustain its programmes.

The Minister said, parents must live up to their parental responsibility and ensure the proper upbringing of their children to protect them from all sorts of exploitation and expressed regret that some parents allow their children to suffer.

He said the distances between communities in the region were very far apart and bushy, which was very dangerous for children to embark on such journeys under severe conditions to make a living instead of being in the classroom.

Alhaji Iddris said it was significant for parents and opinion leaders to collaborate to prevent children from engaging in petty trading while the District and Metropolitan Assemblies could enact and enforce by-laws to prevent children from selling.

Alhaji Iddris said the female children who are engaged in the "Taalar" practice were exposed to dangers such as rape, prostitution and molestation while the males had the tendency of indulging in alcoholism and drug abuse.

He said children were the future leaders of the country and that their fundamental rights must therefore had to be respected and protected to adequately prepare them for future challenges. It is a common phenomenon in the Tamale Metropolis to also see male children who are supposed to be in school are seen going round with hoes on their shoulders at residential areas shouting "Paa o paa", for jobs to earn a living.

Some residents some times take undue advantage of their plight and tab their labour and give them meager monies, some times left over food, a situation that needed to be checked and addressed. The Minister appealed to NGOs operating in the region to tackle children's issues seriously and should educate them to live discipline lives to be obedient and honest to their parents. Alhaji Iddris commended the CCFC for the tremendous assistance to communities and people in the region and urged them not to relent in efforts to reduce poverty.


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