20.03.2005 Regional News

CHRAJ bemoans high rate of child neglect cases

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Sunyani March 20, GNA - Ms Anna Bossman, Acting Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has decried the high rate of child neglect and non-maintenance and urged the media and civil society to help check the trend.

She said the Commission would engage the press, civil society, ministries, departments as well as traditional authorities in roundtable discussions on how best to use their combined resources to address these problems. Ms Bossman was addressing a press conference in Sunyani after a weeklong tour of the district offices of the Commission in Brong Ahafo, most importantly to ascertain the human rights abuses prevalent in the Region as well as incidences of maladministration and corruption. The acting Commissioner said the CHRAJ noted that the majority of complaints received in the district offices were of child neglect and non- maintenance, scoring 70 per cent of all cases received in 2004. "I might add that in all parts of the country this is a major problem and must be dealt with the seriousness it deserves, for out of this comes the related problems of child and teenage delinquency, school dropout, early engagement in sexual activities and other social problems".

Ms Bossman noted with regret that female genital mutilation and early forced marriage were rampant in Brong Ahafo, prevalent in Wenchi, Kintampo, Nkoranza, Sene and Atebubu districts. She called on Ghanaians to assist the Commission in educating the people on the negative effects of cultural practices that were inhuman and degrading.

"The Commission will very soon launch a community based education programme, which is aimed at inculcating a human rights culture and getting people to participate in their own empowerment".

The CHRAJ in Brong Ahafo in 2004 received a total of 4,244 cases and disposed of 3,491.

Ms Abena Bonsu, Director, Legal and Investigations, was present. 20 March 05

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