THE Oguaa Traditional Council has indicated its resolve to clamp down on child prostitution which seems to be gaining root in the Cape Coast municipality.
For a start, the Paramount Chief of the traditional area, Osaberima Kwesi Atta II, says the council will collaborate with the police and the metropolitan assembly to check the activities of children who roam the streets at night.
Although The Times lauds the council for its decision, we also question why the council had to wait until the Regional Minister, Mr. Aquinas Quansah, expressed his concern about the situation before it sprang into action.
The problem of children engaging in prostitution in the Cape Coast metropolis is not new.
The Times recalls that a former Regional Minister, Isaac Edumadze, also had cause to complain about the phenomenon and advocated for drastic measures to be taken by the traditional authorities and the security agencies to stem the tide.
All indications are that Mr Edumadze’s exhortation had fallen on deaf ears, and more than ten years later, we are still grappling with the problem.
Child prostitution constitutes an indictment on the society, especially the leaders and institutions entrusted with the task of guaranteeing children’s welfare.
We have failed as a nation to seek the children’s well-being through the introduction of pragmatic measures to safeguard their future.
The school dropout rate is high throughout the country, and most children resort to all means to fend for themselves.
The number of street children keeps increasing, and most of them try to survive by hawking, while others work as porters in the day time
At night, the girls roam the streets, falling prey to adult men who have no scruples about going to bed with girls of their own children’s age.
The Times believes it is not enough clamping down on the children only.
The authorities must begin by prosecuting those who patronise the services of these child prostitutes, as well as the hoteliers and brothel owners who open up the places for the children to ply their trade.
As a long term measure, however, the various stakeholders should adopt a holistic approach towards keeping the children in school during the day, and off the streets at night.
Our children are the nation’s future, and we need to nurture them now to grow into responsible leaders.