MPs Condemn Baby Prostitutes
3/14/2008 9:52:02 AM -
MEMBERS OF Parliament (MPs) have collectively added their voices to the recent public outcry against child prostitution, which has suddenly become so rampant in most Ghanaian communities.
They said there was the urgent need for the numerous religious bodies in the country to play a vanguard role in curbing the menace which is currently on the ascendancy.
The tone for the discussion on the issue was set by the MP for North Dayi, Akua Sena Dansua, in Parliament yesterday when she presented a statement on the problem and called on her fellow parliamentarians to help address it before it was too late.
'Some of these young people, aged between 15 and 24 and mostly illiterates, engage in unprotected sex with different sexual partners for money to, among others, fend for themselves.
'Among them are children as young as 10 to 14 years old. A number of these vulnerable children end up being raped and becoming teenage mothers or acquiring sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS,' said Ms. Dansua.
The MP, a former journalist, was worried that Ghana was gradually gaining notoriety as a destination for child prostitution, a dent in the country's international image, and condemned in no uncertain terms the proliferation of brothels in most parts of the country.
'Among others, these young girls are said to pose for nude pictures following monetary offers to them by men, some of them being foreigners.'
Ms. Dansua, the Minority Deputy Chief Whip, described as mind-boggling, the behaviour of some Ghanaians, who deliberately put up accommodation facilities to serve as brothels.
'It is a behaviour that should be frowned upon by all well-meaning Ghanaians and should be discouraged.
'The menace should be tackled with the seriousness it deserves. Children are the future of any nation and as such there is the need to protect and nurture them for their roles ahead.
'Various laws and policies are in place to facilitate the best interest of children in the country and it is important that these laws be rigorously enforced to achieve results,' she noted.
She advocated that vocational training be offered school drop-outs and the unemployed youth so that they could acquire the necessary skills to engage in small scale businesses as sources of livelihood instead of engaging in jobs such as prostitution.
'It is when large populations of youth are left with no jobs that they look elsewhere for anything that will earn them an income including prostitution and drugs,' she stated.
'In tackling the menace of child prostitution, a holistic approach must be adopted else we will end up trying to solve the problem in one vein by creating more avenues for the escalation of the same problem in another.'
Other parliamentarians such Stephen Kwaku Balado Manu of Ahafo Ano South described the statement as timely, and called on society in general to give the issue the attention it deserved.
He regretted the absence of the traditional 'Ananse' story telling sessions which were favourite pastimes parents used to entertain and educate children to refrain from immoral practices such as prostitution.
He appealed to parents to live worthy lives since their children first copied what they did before heeding to what they were asked to do or not.
David Oppon-Kusi, MP for Ofoase-Ayirebi, said it was shameful that young ladies boldly solicited sex in the open nowadays, saying society as a whole had not done much to address the situation.
'We should as a people start sowing the seeds of good values in our children now. It will be too late to start sowing such values when children are over 15 years. Prostitution can't be eliminated but child prostitution should be condemned,' he said.
By Sylvanus Nana Kumi