Kpongu (U/W), Jan. 3. GNA – The Upper West Regional office of the Department of Community Development has held a forum at Kpongu to sensitise community members on early marriage and its associated dangers.
Mr John Amuzu, the Regional Director of the Department of Community Development said the act, no matter how concrete the reason may be, was an abuse of the rights of the child and should not be encouraged.
He said this reason among others such as forced marriage, non registration of births, female circumcision, child labour, child trafficking, fosterage and surrogate motherhood among others that the Department of Community Development sought to bring to an end in order to ensure a better future for all children in the region.
In this regard, Mr. Amuzu said the Department, with Support from UNICEF, has put in place 30 volunteer community Child Protection Teams (CPTs) in three districts, including Wa Municipal, Lawra and Jirapa Districts to help curb these rampant child abuse cases in the region.
He said the CPTs project seeks to sensitise community members on the rights of children, prevent them from all forms of abuses, and ensuring their wellbeing by creating the enabling environment such as putting up structures and laws to protect them.
Mr. Amuzu said all the 30 teams have already received training on their mode of operation and would work hand in hand with the chiefs and elders of each community to address the sources of these abuses through a community-based approach.
Madam Mariam Nurain, an Officer from the Wa Municipal office of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) advised parents to give birth to the number of children they could comfortably cater for without experiencing any economic hardships.
They should also send all their children to school and stop giving them out for early marriage so that they could have a better future to be able to support them.
Some Parents, who attended the forum in Kpongu, a village in the Wa Municipality, were of the view that young girls were being given out for early marriages to prevent them from teenage pregnancies, which brings disgrace to their families.
They said the young girls of today were strong headed and sexually active and the only way to prevent them from bringing shame to their families was to give them out for early marriage.