Chiefs in the Dorimon Traditional Area in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region are to put in place by-laws to help prevent abuse of children in the area.
Chief of Duasi, Naa Bawa Seidu said child abuse of all forms is having a negative effect on the development of children hence the need to take measures to prevent it.
Naa Seidu was speaking during a forum to sensitize people of Dorimon and its surrounding communities to the need to prevent child abuse.
It was organized by the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection in collaboration with UNICEF and other development partners under its programme “Ghanaians Against Child Abuse”, GACA.
Ghanaians Against Child Abuse, GACA is a movement aims at preventing all forms of child abuse in the country.
The programme was launched last year by the wife of the Vice President Samira Bawumia to create awareness about the negative effects of child abuse and the need to prevent the practice.
As part of the sensitization, a drama was staged to demonstrate how child abuse impacts negatively on the development of children and the role parents and society as a whole can play to stop the menace.
The Wa West District Director of Social Welfare and Community Development Musah Jafaru lamented that in spite of efforts by the governments and development partners to end child abuse the practice still goes on particularly abuse against the girl child.
He said female genital mutilation and elopement of young girls are still taking place in the Wa West District, a situation he described as very worrying.
Mr. Jafaru said information from the Child and family welfare policy indicates that in Ghana more than ninety percent of children have experienced some form of physical violence.
More than twenty-one percent of women aged between twenty and twenty-four were married before the age of 18 and sixteen percent of girls aged between fifteen and nineteen had their first experience of sexual intercourse against their will.
The District Director of Social Welfare and Community Development added that an estimated twenty-three percent of children aged between five and fourteen are engaged in some form of economic activity in Ghana.
He said all these high levels of abuse have prompted the need for stakeholders to take stronger action to stem the tide.
Some parents particularly women who spoke at the forum pledged to bring up their children in a more responsible way devoid of all forms of abuse.
They also promised to expose those who continue to subject their children to abuses to the law enforcement agencies for the law to take its course. .
Story by Sualah Abdule-Wahab