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13.09.2005 Regional News

BA tops chart on child neglect cases in Ghana

By GNA

Accra, Sept. 13, GNA - Mrs. Anna Bossman, Acting Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), on Tuesday disclosed that the Brong Ahafo Region recorded the highest number of cases of child neglect and non-maintenance cases in the country.

The region scored 70 per cent reported cases of child neglect and non- maintenance, received in 2004, stressing this is a major problem nationwide and must be addressed with the seriousness it deserved, for out of this comes the related problems of child and teenage delinquency, school dropout, early engagement in sexual activities and other social problems.

Mrs Bossman, who was speaking at a forum organised by the African Security Dialogue and Research (ASRD) on the state of human rights in Ghana and the role of oversight institutions called for a holistic effort by the press, civil society, ministries, departments as well as traditional authorities to address these problems.

The CHRAJ Acting Commissioner noted with regret that female genital mutilation and early forced marriage were also rampant in Brong Ahafo, especially in Wenchi, Kintampo, Nkoranza, Sene and Atebubu districts. She also disclosed that since 1999, the Commission's annual statistics indicate that many parents, especially fathers have abdicated their responsibility to maintain their children or send them to school. The denial of basic socio-economic rights such as the rights to food and education is regrettable.

She said statistics indicate that, out of 12,381 complaints received nationwide by the commission, 55.3 per cent (6,850 cases) relates to family issues.

The CHRAJ Boss said such neglect constitute an offence under the Children's Act, "Parents who are guilty of this offence are liable to a fine or term of imprisonment under the law." The forum was attended by serving and retired military and police officers, security intelligence analysts, parliamentarians, academicians, traditional rulers, diplomats, journalists and lawyers.

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