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Durbar on child marriage held at Gomoa Dawurampong

Gomoa Dawurampong (C/R) Aug. 02, GNA – Pupils
in Gomoa Dawurampong have called on stakeholders to promote and protect the
rights and welfare of the Ghanaian child.

“We need protection against early marriage and
rights to freedom from violence, abuse, hazardous forms of work, have adequate
health care and education to the highest level as well as to express our
opinions on matters concerning us.”

The call was made by selected members of Child
Protection Clubs in schools in the area in a recitation of their rights at a
durbar organised by International Needs-Ghana.

The project dubbed Protection, Employment and
Community Action against Child Marriage (PECACEM) at Gomoa Dawurampong in the
Gomoa East District of the Central Region was on the theme: “Getting together
to end child marriage: The Role of stakeholders”.

It was sponsored by UNICEF.

The durbar was to sensitise the community
members especially parents who are key culprits when it comes to issues of
child marriage, to say “NO” to child marriage and support children with their
limited resources to be well-informed in society.

The children pleaded with government to ensure
that treaties and conventions on children’s rights that have been ratified were
fully implemented to ensure their wellbeing.

Ms. Lely klotey, Project Coordinator of
International Needs-Ghana, said PECACEM project was being implemented in 16
communities in Gomoa West and Mfantsiman Municipality in the Central Region.

The project, she said, sought to promote and
enhance safe and protective environment that would prevent and respond to child
marriages and other forms of child protection violations.

She quoted a UNFPA report, which classified
Ghana among countries with high prevalence of child marriage, with one out of
every four girls getting married before age 18.

“The Central Region has a child marriage
prevalence rate of 32.1 percent, which is well above the national average of 27
percent, and this is uncalled for.

“Let us join hands together to fight against
child marriage and create a conducive environment for them to have a solid,
dynamic and future manpower for the country,” she stated.

Chief Inspector Michael Nkekesi of the Gomoa Dawurampong
Police Station advised community members who indulged in the acts to put a stop
to it, saying it was criminal to give out a child below 18 years for marriage.

Madam Eunice Akoro, a Circuit Supervisor of
Ghana Education Service, and Mr. Benjamin Noah Gomoa, the Gomoa West District
Social Welfare Officer in their address, called on parent to prioritise the
education of their children, saying, children were the future and their welfare
should be paramount to enable them to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

Nana Kow Akom Obbatan of the Traditional
Council, said child marriage impeded children’s education, exposed them to
abuses and increased their risk of maternal mortality among others; and called
for all hands to be on deck to fight the menace.

GNA

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