Mr Anthony Dontoh, Eastern Regional Director of the Department of Children of the Ministry of Gender, Children and social Protection, has urged parents to report defilement and rape cases to the police
This, he, said would halt child marriages.
He noted that the new trend is that when girls are sexually violated and they get pregnant the culprits are asked to marry them instead of legal action taking against them.
Mr Dontoh said this calls for collective efforts of all especially parents to report such cases.
Mr Dontoh was speaking at a durbar of schoolchildren and people of Akateng in the Upper-Manya Krobo District of Eastern Region, to run-off a weeklong activities organised in conjunction with Plan-Ghana and Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice to commemorate the AU Day celebration.
According to the indicator cluster survey of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) 2011, report 6.9 per cent of females are married before 15 years and 27.2 per cent are married before 18 years, while the national average for 15 year-old girls is 5.8 per cent and 27 per cent for 18 years.
Mr Dontoh noted that, more action needs to be taken to halt the trend in the region to ensure that girls go to school and are empowered to be able to contribute their quota to the society.
Mr Joseph Angmor, District Chief Executive thanked the organisers for bringing the education programme to the community and also added his voice to the call on parents to report defilement and rape cases.
He said lack of cooperation from victims and failure of parents to help in the prosecution of offenders is a problem and advised chiefs and community leaders to support the elimination of early and forced marriages.
As part of the programme, more than 10 schools in communities in the district were visited and educated on child marriages.
There were also debates on the topic: “Child marriage in Africa is a challenge and our collective efforts at accelerating the rights of the African child,” and the Mangoase Methodist, Gbolo Kofi Presby Junior High Schools took part while the New Juaben and Koforidua Secondary technical schools also contested on similar topics.
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