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26.11.2008 General News

20 children die annually through abuse, neglect

By myjoyonline

About 20 children die in Ghana every year as a result of abuse and neglect, Mr John Hackman, an advocate of the rights of children, disclosed at a forum in Takoradi.

He said hundreds more suffer long-term emotional and psychological problems caused by ill-treatment meted out to them by their own parents and other adults.

Mr Hackman said this at a forum in Takoradi on Tuesday to mark this year's World Day for the prevention of child abuse in the Western Region.

The forum, which was organised by Children and Youth in Broadcasting (Curious Minds) with support from UNICEF, was on the theme: “Creating a culture of prevention - Lets act now.”

Mr Hackman said that child labour, sexual abuse, corporal punishment, parental neglect or irresponsibility, and child trafficking were some of the abuses that still existed in the country.

He called for the protection of children's rights by all to ensure the proper development of the child, saying, “it is unfortunate that some regard child rights as alien to the Ghanaian culture”.

Mrs Benedicta Seidu, Girl-Child Officer at the Sekondi-Takoradi Metro Education Office said about 70 per cent of mothers “have a hand in the children's premarital sexual activities”.

She said sexual abuses and harassment were prevalent in various educational institutions, a situation she described as “unfortunate”.

Mrs Seidu warned teachers, who abuse students to refrain from such acts.

Mr Clarke Noyoru, Project and Programme Officer of the Department of Children advised children to report any form of abuse to the authorities.

Mr Bright Tse, National Vice President of Curious Minds called for stiffer punishment for people who abuse children.