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28.04.2004 Regional News

Apam puts in taskforce to check child trafficking to Yeji

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Apam (C/R), April 28, GNA - The Apaman Development Committee has set up a taskforce which would among other things, arrest irresponsible parents who collude with commercial drivers to send children to Yeji to do fishing.

The chief of Apam and Chairman of the Committee, Nana Adu Effirim X, said this at a day's forum organised by the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs in collaboration with the National Council on Women and Development (NCWD) at Apam on Tuesday to discuss matters affecting child trafficking business still prevailing in the area.

The forum under the theme: "Responsible Parenting" was attended by workers, traders, farmers, fishermen, transport operators, fishmongers and school children.

Nana Effirim expressed serious concern that despite the huge expenditure government is incurring on programme to bring back who had been illegally transported to Yeji, most commercial drivers in the area still collude with some irresponsible parents to send the children back to Yeji to the detriment of their education.

Nana Effirim said drivers on whose vehicles such irresponsible parents are found would be jointly and severally prosecuted. He said the taskforce would be mandated to arrest school children found in the street after 8 pm, saying that the move is to check teenage pregnancy, which is becoming too rampant in the area.

Miss Joyce Aidoo, District Chief Executive for Gomoa, said her administration was making efforts to streamline the distribution of the "Women in Development Fund" to ensure fairness to needy women in the area, irrespective of their ethnic, political and religious affiliation. She cautioned men who bring forth children and woefully failed to look after them against shirking their parental obligations towards their children. She charged children in the district to be obedient and respectful all the time.

In a speech read for her, Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs reiterated government determination to eradicate completely from the country's coastal communities the issue of child trafficking business.

Mrs Asmah repeated her call on chiefs, opinion leaders and other stakeholders in coastal towns and villages to collaborate efforts with the government to ensure the success of the programme.

A participant suggested to the Gomoa District Assembly to ban Christmas and Easter "beach dances" and other entertainments, which ran throughout the night because they encourage immorality.

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