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09.02.2006 Regional News

13 schools support rape victim

By GNA

Accra, Feb. 9, GNA - Child Rights Clubs from 13 second cycle institutions have collaborated and mobilized more than five million cedis to support the upkeep of the seven-year old girl, who was allegedly raped by her grandfather.

The girl has also been infected with HIV/AIDS and was currently on treatment to boost her immune system, before surgery. Ms Efua Bucknor, Vice President of Child Rights Club, said: "We are not happy because, day in and day out, we are faced with lots of problems that always place us in a defenceless position." She said "as advocates against child rights abuses, upon hearing the news about the girl we decided to mobilise resources to support her.

She said although the country had protected the rights of the child through policy documents such as the Children's Act, Act 560 and the setting up of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MOWAC), the threat of some forms of child abuses and practices still persisted in the country.

Ms Bucknor urged religious bodies to educate their congregation on child rights to address the fundamental needs of children in the country.

She called on the MOWAC to help to regulate the alcoholic and manpower tonics advertisement in the print and electronic media and to facilitate the process for the establishment of child panels in all districts. She also app ealed to the Judiciary to consider the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Children's Act 560 as important provisions to give judgment on child right abuses. Mr J. B. Danquah Adu, Deputy Minister of MOWAC, who received the cheque on behalf of the girl, said the Ministry would work to ensure that the Judiciary was strengthened to enforce the law on child rights violation.

He urged traditional rulers and civil society to campaign for attitudinal change to protect children from abuses.

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