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26.03.2009 Social News

Use of youth as instruments of violence is destroying society


Mr Emmanuel Lodoh, Deputy Director of the Judicial Training Institute, has said the increasing use of the youth as instruments of violence by both community and political leaders was destroying the collective image, morality and the future of our young people.

He, has, therefore called for the need to develop effective strategies to empower and equip the youth to deal with conflicts or disputes without destabilizing the peace of the country.

Mr Lodoh said this at a public forum to mark the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) week celebration at the All Nations University College in Koforidua on Wednesday.

He said of late the youth believed that the only tool available for them in disputes was to use violence and disruptiveness, which had found expression and form on-campus and street demonstrations and at times direct physical violence against persons or property.

Mr Lodoh appealed to the youth to be encouraged and participate in problem solving sessions with adults to stimulate and build their inner convictions for positive character building toward adulthood.

He said when young people equip themselves with problem solving skills in the nature of ADR and make themselves available to their communities most of the cases which have been pilled in courts would be solved amicably.

Mr Lodoh encouraged the youth to set up community based mediation centres and make such centres accessible to members of their communities, especially vulnerable persons.

Mr Senyo Adjabeng, National Coordinator for the Alternative Dispute Resolution, said the ADR programme of the Judicial Service was conceptualized when the former Chief Justice formed a task force in 2001 to consider the possibility of adopting ADR as part of the judicial system in Ghana.

He said the programme was piloted in Accra and Tema for two years and in 2007 the average settlement rate stood at 55 percent of referred case.

Supervising High Court judge, Justice Gbiel Simon Suurebareh, National Chairman of the ADR, who chaired the function, urged people to understand the concept of the programme and accept their cases to be referred to the ADR for amicable settlements.