Source: Savannanews24.com/Ibrihim Nuriudeen
The Minister of Gender, Children and Social protection, Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba says the strong arm of government will be vented upon any one who indulges and initiate child marriage in the country.
According to her child marriage has became a monster robbing the joy of girls during their childhood, which she believe increases teenage pregnancy, fistula, AIDS and unprepared motherhood, adding that the minimum age for marriage is eighteen.
Speaking at the launch of five year campaign against child marriage dubbed: ‘End Child Marriage, Now’ which is been spearhead by World vision Ghana in collaboration with the ministry, she said child marriage is a crime against humanity, family, communities and the laws of the country.
Furthering that, “it is a complete violation of the children act1998act,560, a complete violation of the criminal code, as a society should we allow our children to have children, how do we feel seeing this children dream unfulfilled, curtail and their ambition been destroyed, it is disgrace, my ministry and other governmental agencies will prosecute any person who involve or initiate child marriage.”
Madam Otiku expressed disappointment that some societies in Ghana still condone and support abuses and exploitation of children who ought to be in school. ” it is a sad situation, it indicates that all is not well in mother Ghana, we find it difficult to act on the best interest of our children, why is that so, we cannot continue to exploit them, where lays the future if we don’t stop child marriage. ”
She said the campaign to end child marriage is to give direction to all child marriage interventions in the country, adding that her ministry, UNICEF and other organizations will sanitize girls, community leaders and key stakeholders across the country to accept the fight to end child marriage over the stipulated period.
The Chairperson, advisory council of world vision International, Ghana Dr (Mrs) Adelaide Kastner said, the goal of the campaign is to contribute to a 50% reduction of child marriage in Ghana by 2021 through improve legal enforcement of child protection laws especially the marriage Act 560 and seek to harmonize the sex consensual age of 16 with the marriage age 18.
Again, challenge social norms, eliminate harmful practices against children, improve policy implementation, strengthen institutions and faith care communities to care and protect children from Child marriage.