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13.11.2007 General News

Ministry recounts measures for promoting children's rights


About 100 Community Child Protection teams have been established in the regions to sensitise the people, especially parents on child rights issues and assist in apprehending offenders.

The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs is also collaborating with law enforcement agencies to ensure that laws relating to forced or early marriages and other offences against children are checked, Hajia Alima Mahama, the sector Minister said in Parliament on Tuesday.

She was responding to a question on steps being taken to stop forced marriages of girls, especially those under age and in school.

The Minister said section 14 of the Children's Act 1998, Act 560, states that "No person shall force a child to be betrothed, to be the subject of dowry transaction, or to be married."

She said the minimum age of marriage shall be 18 years and the sanction for contravening this provision is "summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five million cedis, or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both."

Hajia Mahama told the House that public fora, durbars and other community dialogue processes were being used to create awareness among the communities on these issues.

"The promotion of girl-child education at all levels has ensured the enrolment and retention of girls in schools and Ghana has achieved gender parity index of 0.97 enrolment at basic school level."

She said there was now an enhanced enabling environment with the passage of legislations on child protection, bolstered by advocacy work of vibrant non-governmental organizations, civil society, as well as media monitoring and reporting on child abuses.