In Ghana Child marriage constitutes 25% of human rights abuses

Child mariage is assumming alraming proportion in the three northern regions, including Western, Brong-Ahafo, and Central regions as well as parts of the Eastern Region

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Poverty, parental and community pressure and outmoded traditional practices the survey said are contributory factors impeding the fight against child marriage. play

Poverty, parental and community pressure and outmoded traditional practices the survey said are contributory factors impeding the fight against child marriage.

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A study by Coalition of the Rights of the Child has revealed that child marriage accounted for 25 percent of human rights abuses in the country.

READ MORE:Help end child marriage - First Lady

National Co-ordinator of the Coalition, Barima Akwasi Amankwaa, who was speaking at a seminar on the Right of the Child for people in the hospitality industry, transport sector, media and civil society organisations on Wednesday in Sunyani said the situation is unpleasant which required a concerted efforts to bring under control.

He disclosed that child marriages which were predominately in the three northern regions has taken a national dimension with the Western, Brong-Ahafo, and Central regions as well as parts of the Eastern Region assuming alarming proportions.

He cited poverty, parental and community pressure and outmoded traditional practices as contributory factors impeding the fight against child marriage.

Explaining further, he said a girl who showed signs of sexual development in the coastal areas is likely to be coerced into marriage unwillingly as a result of poverty and other external factors.

According to him, the existence of legislation like the Criminal Code, Juvenile Justice Act, child protection policies and other United Nations Conventions on the Right of the Child had not been able to help address child rights abuses and exploitation.

READ MORE: Child marriage on the rise in Ghana - UNAIDS

Barima Amankwaa called for strict enforcement of policies and legislation on child right protection to control the situation.

First Lady Lordina Mahama last month called for help to deal with child marriage, signalling that the phenomenon maybe out of control.

"The future of our children is very important and we must ensure that girls are allowed to go to school instead of being married off at tender ages,” she said on a tour of the Brong Ahafo region, one of the regions child marriage is growing.

"We hold it a duty as parents to support our children to climb the academic ladder and become responsible members in society before giving them away in marriage,” she added.

READ MORE:Mahama would kill if his underage daughter was married off

President John Mahama in a similar comment at the 7th Africa Conference on Sexual and Healthy Right in Accra said: "There's a culture of silence among relatives often when a child is withdrawn from school or a child is married off into a forced marriage. And we need to establish systems that alert the authorities."

 

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