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08.08.2004 Regional News

Two bodies to check activities of children

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Kintampo (B/A) Aug. 8, GNA - The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) in collaboration with the Women and Juvenile Unit of the Police Service will come out by the end of the year with a strategic plan to restrain children under 18 years from visiting video centres, discos and dancing halls.

Mr Akwasi Boakye, Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of the Commission who announced this at Kintampo on Friday said personnel of the two bodies would visit the districts in the night and arrest organizers, children as well as their parents and prosecute them.

He was speaking on: "Responsible Parenting" at the regional celebration of "International Women's Day".

The Regional Director explained that the move was to ensure that parents became more concerned about the welfare of their children and also to check children against engaging in social vices.

"Parents need to be more responsible on issues concerning their children and not to ignore their responsibilities," he said.

Mr Boakye said the Commission received 3,556 cases last year, with 876 of them against men and 164 against women.

He said 914 of the cases were on maintenance, 142 on child custody, 146 on paternity, deprivation of education, 29, medical care, 31, in testate succession, 138 and forced marriages, 30. The Regional Director stated that, Kintampo District recorded 157 of the cases and 30 from January to June this year.

Mr Boakye stressed that, it behoved on everyone to fight to protect the rights of children, who are future leaders of the country. He urged parents to consider the interests of their children as paramount, since the constitution provided a penalty of a fine of five million cedis or a year's imprisonment or both on parents who neglected their children.

The CHRAJ Director entreated parents who found it difficult to control adamant and recalcitrant children to contact the Social Welfare Department or the Commission.

Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Regional Minister called for the abolition of cultural practices and forms of discrimination that affect women negatively, noting that wife battering, rape, and domestic-violence against them were rampant in the country.

He said government recognizes the numerous challenges facing women politically and socially and gave the assurance that government was adopting policies to minimize such constraints.

The Regional Minister advised women to be assertive to compete with men at high positions, adding, men would respect them if they offered the strong challenge in every human endeavour.

Madam Juliana Amponsah, Regional Director of National Commission on Women and Development (NCWD) urged parents not to discriminate against their children on grounds of gender and appealed to men to support their children in their upbringing and development.