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Category: General Created on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 14:30 Published Date Written by All Ghana News Hits: 289
Sunyani (B/A), June 18, GNA – The number of children engaged in commercial sex work is on the ascendancy in five Municipal and District Assemblies in the Brong-Ahafo, a study being conducted by Mission of Hope Society (MIHOSO), a child centered NGO, has revealed.
The six-month study is being carried out in five communities each in Sunyani, Techiman and Kintampo Municipalities, as well as Asutifi, Pru and Jaman North Districts.
Mr. Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, Chief Executive Officer of MIHOSO, who disclosed this, said the multi-ethnic nature of the people with different beliefs and cultures hindered attempts by NGOs to help eliminate the practice and called for a national campaign against it.
The CEO was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani to mark the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) instituted World Day against Child Labour celebration, which falls on June 6, ever year.
Mr. Benarkuu declined to mention the names of communities where the study is being conducted explaining the disclosure would affect the study.
He, however, said the study would soon end and findings would be immediately published.
Mr. Benarkuu expressed worry that girls aged between 15and 17 years were in one way or the other exploited and forced to engage in commercial sex work.
At the individual level, many of the children we spoke to have experienced poor health, including being anaemic and stunted growth, he said.
Mr. Benarkuu said in some of the communities, especially in the cocoa and cashew growing areas, school children were involved in other worst forms of child labour and were exposed to injuries due to lack of protective gears.
He noted that these and other forms of child exploitation had assumed an alarming proportions in some parts of the region and many of the Municipal and District Assemblies had failed to set up panels to discuss issues affecting children.
The CEO stressed that sub part two of section 16 of the children law mandated district assemblies to establish child panels to give meaning to the law but many of the assemblies had failed to do so.
Mr. Benarkuu called for a national policy and programmes to ensure progress in the elimination of all forms of child labour as sexual exploitation of children was a serious human rights violation that gravely compromised the integrity, health and development of victims.
There is no room for complacency when a large percentage of Ghana’s population, especially children, is still labouring to survive with many of them exposed to the worst forms of child
labour, he said.
Mr. Benarkuu called on the government to urgently intervene and live up to its responsibility to protect, rehabilitate, penalize those responsible and change certain social norms and to ultimately prevent child labour.
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