Stakeholders bemoan exploitation of vulnerables in U/E

Stakeholders in Upper East Region have expressed worry about the spate of sexual exploitation of some children with special needs in some of the communities.

They expressed the concern at this year’s National Children Day held at Bolgatanga, the regional capital on Tuesday. The event was themed; “Leave no child behind”.

The annual event was organised by the Regional Directorate of the Department of Children, under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

It attracted stakeholders including staff from the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD), parents, journalists, teachers and children, including those with special needs.

Some participants, including parents bemoaned how some unscrupulous persons often capitalised on the weakness of their children with special needs to abuse them sexually.

“One afternoon my child who is 15 years old girl with special needs came home bleeding profusely on her private part and told me she was raped by one boy in the school”, Mrs  Adongo Asampana,  a parent, narrated  the ordeal her child went through.

The Upper East Regional Director of the Department of Children, Mrs Georgina Aberese-Ako, said there were instances where some parents often locked up their children who have some forms of disabilities in their rooms.

The Regional Director further said early child marriage was also a major human rights issue in the region and cautioned parents to desist from the practice, in order to avoid been caught up by the law.

“Under the Children’s Act, it is required that all children irrespective of their status should be treated fairly and equally without discrimination and punishment.

The law will deal with anybody found culpable of violating this act,” she warned.

She, however,  stated that her outfit with support from development partners such as the  United Nations Children’s Fund and the United Nations Population Fund over the years organised series of sensitisation and advocacy programme which had contributed to the reduction of the phenomenon, but said there was still the need to do more.

 

The Assistant Director of Administration at the RCC,   Ms Yvonne Wonchua,   appealed to parents and teachers to pay special attention to children, especially those with disabilities.

She cited instances where caring parents nurtured their disabled children and integrated them into society, adding that these children now contribute meaningfully to the development of society.

The Upper East Regional president of the GFD, Mr David Ania, who cited himself as an example of a physically challenged person, said if he was neglected by his parents, he would have not been able to complete his education and offered jobs to other people in the region.

He, therefore, appealed to parents and children with special needs not to give up in life but to take inspiration from him.

The National Children’s Day is one of the traditional calendar activities of the Department of Children, and is set aside to take stock of issues concerning children and reflect on what should be done to improve their lives.

The Assistant Director of Administration at the RCC,   Ms Yvonne Wonchua, facilitating one of the sessions.

From Samuel Akapule, Bolgatanga

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