Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey, The Member of Parliament for Keta in the Volta Region has expressed grave concern about the rampant kidnapping of Children in Ghana and called on the stakeholders to act fast to forestall its escalations.
The MP who wanted to know what steps the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is taking to minimize, if not eliminate, the growing cases of child abduction in the country has suggested to the Sector Minister to work with the Local authorities, Traditional Rulers, Opinion Leaders, and local residents to curtail the phenomenon.
The Minister, Sarah Adwoa Safo admitted that the Ministry in collaboration with Regional and National Child Protection Committees has already carried out community sensitization programmes on child protection including abduction at the community level in partnership with the Local Government Service and Non-Governmental Organizations.
According to her, “so far, 34,000 people have been sensitized through our face-to-face interactions on child protection issues and 2.4 million people have been reached on our social media platforms”.
She said, they are also collaborating with key Law enforcement Agencies and have organized training to improve prosecutions and convictions of perpetrators…, “we have also launched a software called the Social Welfare Information Management Systems (SWIMS) to facilitate and enhance collaboration among relevant stakeholders at the National and Decentralized levels in the management of Social Welfare cases which also include child protection. The implementation of it will facilitate the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators”.
She however disclosed that her Ministry is in the process of amending The Children’s Act, 1998 Act 560 and The Juvenile Justice Act, 2003 (Act 653) to provide for more stringent measures.
In a related development on plans the Ministry has done to address increasing domestic violence among women and girls in the country, Madam Sarah Adwoa Safo said, they have carried out community sensitizations at the community level against domestic violence.
According to her, they have dedicated two toll-free hotlines of hope for reporting all social protection issues including domestic violence cases. The hotlines are 0800800800 and 0800900900.
Specifically for domestic violence cases, the number is 0800111222 and BOAME APP which is called the Orange Centre.
She added, “this is being done in partnership with our Partners including the traditional and opinion leaders and DOVVSU for the prosecution of perpetrators”.
Story filed by Edzorna Francis Mensah