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Customary Practices Promote Child Trafficking


2006-11-24 16:12:46
This article has been read 906 times.

Mrs. Marilyn Amponsah Annan, Director, International Desk on Children at the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs has attributed the child trafficking menace to some customary and negative cultural practices in the country.

She has, therefore, appealed to parents, community leaders and chiefs to let issues of children take centre stage in their daily activities to help eliminate child trafficking.

Mrs. Annan was speaking at a day's sensitisation workshop on: "Child trafficking" for Community Surveillance Teams on child trafficking from the Savelugu/Nanton, West Gonja and Tolon/Kumbungu Districts.

The Regional Advisory and Information Network Systems (RAINS) organised the programme under the sponsorship of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).

Participants discussed the roles of the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Immigration Service in the effort to stem child trafficking and how communities could help in combating the menace. Mrs. Annan said child trafficking was practised mostly in the Northern Ghana due to the unfavourable rainfall pattern that impacted negatively on farming with its resultant hunger and other economic hardships.

She said the sector Ministry had in stock shea butter and groundnut processing machines and asked organised women groups to apply for allocation of the machines to enhance their income-generating activities.

Mr. Nyadia Sulemana, Child Trafficking Project Officer of RAINS, said the NGO was supporting some 2,500 children from five districts in the Northern and Upper East Regions to complete their education. RAINS had also distributed 10 television sets, 50 bicycles, 500 textbooks 25,000 exercise books and 20 million cedis worth of medical suppliers to schools its operational areas in an effort to stem the menace of child trafficking.

Mr Sulemana said the NGO had also supported some volunteer teachers to organise remedial classes for children in project schools to ensure that they children stayed in school.

Mr. Bakari Nyari, a Board Member of RAINS, expressed concern about the non-commitment of chiefs and other community leaders to institute stiffer punishment against perpetrators of child trafficking to make the practice "unattractive".

Mr. Alhassan Musah, programmes Manager of RAINS said the communities should be sufficiently mobilised and resourced to lead the crusade against child trafficking.

Source:GNA

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