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17.09.2003 General News

NGOs asked to shift emphasis to responsibilities

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Accra, Sept. 17, GNA - Mr Herbert Mensah of the African Centre of for Human Development, a non governmental organisation (NGO), on Wednesday urged NGOs to shift their focus from excessive human rights issues to education on the duties of the citizenry.

Speaking at forum in Accra on: "Effective Strategies For Educating The Public On Women And Children's Rights, Mr Mensah cited selling on pavements, students damaging school properties, emptying of refuse into drains and traffic offences in the Ghanaian society that NGOs should focus their attention on.

He stressed on the need to make the people to be aware of their civic responsibilities including the payment of their taxes.

Mr Mensah said Ningo, Ada and Kpando Torkor, all along the Volta Lake, were prone to child servitude and it was difficult to rescue the children because their masters demand that the money they paid should be refunded to them before they could set them free.

Mrs Elizabeth Akpalu, Executive Director, Advocates for Gender Equity, said despite a number of conventions aimed at preventing abuse of women and children's right's, there was always a gulf between the existence of the rights and their enjoyment.

She called for more efforts from government to make basic education really free and to criminalise all traditions that militated against the rights of women.

Mrs Akpalu also called for a national plan of action to address human rights infractions, especially that of women and children. The forum formed part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), which is on the theme: "Ten Years of CHRAJ, Achievements, Prospects and Challenges." 17 Sept. 03

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