Ms Abigail Edem Hunu, Coordinator for Girls Empowerment Club Project (GECP) at the Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) Ghana, has advised parents to desist from using poverty as an excuse of engaging their children in commercials activities or releasing them into servitude.
“Stop using poverty as a means of giving your children especially the girl child away to others for financial and material benefits,” She said.
Ms. Hunu was addressing parents and children at the St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Accra as part of activities to commemorate this year’s Day of the African Child, on the theme “Conflict and crisis in Africa, protecting all children’s rights.”
She said that the day was initiated by the Organisation of African Unity (0AU), now African Union since 1991 as a means of reminding all African States of the need to protect the rights of children from being exploited.
The event, according to the project coordinator, was part of the sensitisation programme to orient members of the Girls Empowerment Club to know their rights as children.
She said it has become very necessary to educate parents and guardians on the criminal aspects of the Children’s Act which frowns on parents giving their children away to engage in all forms for domestic activities and its consequences.
According to her, the Act makes it mandatory for every child to stay and be catered for by their parents or guardians until they are ready to cater for themselves.
Ms. Hunu said most children in servitude were exploited by their masters and mistresses, and that jeopardises their future.
She was grateful to Challenge Bookshop and J-initiative for supporting the girls clubs in the various schools, and called on all stakeholders to support in creating more awareness against child neglect and abuse.
By Victor Buxton