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Child Marriage Controversy: WILDAF calls for expedited investigations and prompt prosecution of culprits

Members of the Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) Ghana Network, partners of the Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) Ghana project, and partners of the Power to Choose SRHR Program are calling on the Police to speed up the investigation into the alledged Marriage or Berhrothal of a 12-year-old girl to a 63-year-old priest in Nungua, Greater Accra Region of Ghana.

This is contained in a statement issued to the media in Accra.

WILDAF says it notes with concern, and “strongly condemn the purported marriage between the 63-year-old Gborbu Wulomo, Numo Borketey Laweh Tsuru of Nungua, a suburb of Accra and a 12-year-old girl”.

“Child Marriage is illegal in Ghana. Indeed, sections 13, 14, and 15 of the Children’s Act 1998 as amended and or restated are emphatic that the minimum age of marriage of whatever kind in Ghana is 18 years and further prohibits child marriage and betrothal”.

WILDAF further stated that, the Domestic Violence Act also specifically proscribes Child Marriage. Needless to say, the above-mentioned purported marriage is void as marriage is a voluntary union between two consenting adults and in this case, consent is lacking. Articles 26, and 28 of the 1992 Constitution guarantee the rights of children, including the right to bodily integrity and the right to be protected from customary practices that dehumanize or are injurious to their physical and mental well-being.
Child Marriage is a gross violation of the rights of children, particularly girls, and affects their socialization process.

“It is sexual and gender-based violence against children and exposes victims and survivors to health risks including STIs such as HIV.”

“Thus, it is important to recognize that child marriage is a harmful traditional practice that significantly affects the physical, emotional, health, and psychological well-being of girls in particular.”

” Such practice deprives girls of childhood, potential in life, and dignity leading to a cycle of poverty and increasing the inequality gap”

The WiLDAF Ghana Network, partners of the WVL Ghana project and Power to Choose SRHR Program commend the Ghana Police Service, the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection, and other Ministries, Departments, and Agencies that worked collaboratively, for their swift action in providing protective custody for the 12-year-old girl at the center of the purported child marriage and her mother, as stated in the Police Service press release.
WiLDAF Ghana and its partners respectfully request that the police expedite the investigations and arrest all culpable persons to deter this menace in Ghana.

The Ghana Statistical Service’s October 2022 Monthly Press Release, citing the 2021 Population and Housing Census reported the alarmingly high rates of Child Marriages in Ghana estimating that “…79,733 girls in Ghana aged 12 to 17 have been in union i.e. married or living together with a man…”.

Members of the WiLDAF Ghana Network and partners say they await the outcome of the investigations into the matter and call on all to be vigilant, and report all cases of child abuse/violence against children including Child Marriage (as required under section 17 of the Children’s Act) to officials of the Department of Social Welfare, DOVVSU, Department of Children, and WiLDAF Ghana and other CSOs for further investigations and action.

WiLDAF Ghana also calls on the National House of Chiefs and the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs to undertake an evaluation of traditional customs and usages to eliminate those customs and usages that are outmoded and socially harmful as mandated in Article 272 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

“It is our collective responsibility to ensure a safe, educated, and healthy Ghana for every child where their rights are respected, and protected and their voices heard. Let us leave no child behind”

Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) Ghana is a Pan-African Women’s Rights Network comprising over 300 institutions and individuals across all 16 regions of Ghana. WiLDAF Ghana can be reached at 0302727897 and by email at

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