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Forced marriages increasing in Northern Region

2010-02-16 20:23:55
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The Acting Northern Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Mr. Alhassan Seidu has expressed concern about the increasing rate of forced marriages in the Eastern Corridor of the region.

He said last month, two of such cases were recorded at Bimbilla and one each at Yendi, Saboba and Zabzugu. Mr. Seidu who made this known to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale, said most of the victims were between 10 and 17 years in contravention of the children's Act, (Act 560).

He attributed the situation to age-long customs and traditions. Mr. Seidu said a research conducted by CHRAJ revealed that the practice was being fuelled by men who claimed they had invested in the upbringing of the girls.

He noted that victims of forced marriages who manage to run away risk forfeiting their future daughters to the men they have been betrothed to. He said although CHRAJ had intervened to reverse the situation through education, arbitration and criminal prosecutions the trend was still continuing.

Mr. Seidu therefore called for a holistic approach to tackle the phenomenon in order to protect the future leaders of the country.


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