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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Media NGO leads campaign against child abuse

September 9, 2010
Ghana News: Accra Mail

As part of measures to reduce the ever-increasing phenomenon of child abuse in Ghana, and other parts of the globe, Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), formerly known as African Media Aid (AFRIMA), a non-profit media organisation, has instituted November every year as 'Child Abuse Prevention Month,' which will be marked in its operational areas.
The main goal of the project is to raise awareness, and reach out to community leaders, traditional and religious authorities, as well as mobilising communities to take a strong stand on violence against children, by working with local and national media to run campaigns on violence against children, especially girls. 

Disclosing this to newsmen in Sunyani, the Chief Executive officer (CEO) of GLOMEF, Raphael Godlove Ahenu Jr., noted that day-in-day-out, there are reports in the media of all sorts of injustices against children, and stressed the need for all sections of society to play their parts in protecting the minors in society. 

According to him, violence being physical, psychological and sexual was a pernicious problem in Africa, stressing that girls are particularly vulnerable, partly due to the influence of traditional values, and tolerance towards domestic violence. 

Girls in many parts of Africa are victims of early marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), which, according to the CEO of GLOMEF, puts the African girl at risk of contracting HIV, since most husbands are older and more sexually experienced.  
'We must each commit ourselves to creating a protective environment for children. Laws must be passed to criminalise the sexual exploitation and abuse of children, especially, girls, and these laws must be enforced so that perpetrators are punished, and victims protected,'he said. 

Mr. Ahenu Jr. also noted that it was the collective responsibility of all to advocate for an end to harmful traditional practices, and corporal punishment of children. 

He disclosed that even though the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the world's most ratified human rights treaty, reinforced by the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) among other Protocols and Declarations, the problem of violence against children still exists.  
The CEO, therefore, stressed the need for policy-makers to release sufficient resources for activities promoting the well-being of children.