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GHANA: 'Grace period' over for buyers and sellers of children, gov't official says

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  • ausetkmt
    ... ~RE .. REality..What A Concept http://ausettkmt.com .. BadGalsRadio; Anti-Slackness Intellectual Development - on the RADIO http://badgalsradio.com
    Message 1 of 1 , May 30, 2007
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      --- IRIN <noreply@...> wrote:

      > From: "IRIN" <noreply@...>
      > To: "RE Ausetkmt" <ausetkmt@...>
      > Subject: GHANA: 'Grace period' over for buyers and sellers of children, gov't
      > official says
      > Date: Tue, 29 May 2007 20:19:14 -0000
      > GHANA: 'Grace period' over for buyers and sellers of children, gov't official says
      > EKUMPOANO, 29 May 2007 (IRIN) - Ghana's government says it is ready to start
      > enforcing a two-year-old law to prosecute parents who sell their children to
      > traffickers.
      > "We have not enforced the law because we first wanted to create enough awareness
      > because of the cultural setting in which we find ourselves," Ghana's Minister for
      > Women and Children Affairs Hajia Alima Mahama told IRIN.
      > "Now we are going to start prosecuting. The grace period is over."
      > In Ghana, as in many parts of Africa, the notion that a child belongs to the
      > community makes it acceptable for parents to give a child away to assist a neighbour
      > or relative.
      > But as Ghanaians have got poorer that custom has been perverted. Sometimes, parents
      > sell their children to strangers, who treat them as commodities to be hired out or
      > sold for work.
      > The exact number of children currently in the hands of traffickers is not known, but
      > Eric Peasah, trafficking expert at the International Organisation for Migration in
      > Ghana, estimated that it is likely to run at least into the hundreds.
      > Ghana's child trafficking law was passed in 2005 but has not been strictly enforced.
      > It makes it illegal to sell a child for whatever purpose, but also criminalises the
      > act of encouraging parents to give up their children for money. Ten years' jail time
      > is the maximum sentence.
      > For children already sold off to traffickers, the International Organisation for
      > Migration (IOM) -- in collaboration with the government and local NGOs -- retrieves
      > children, reunites them with their families, and provides micro-credit loans.
      > Government and IOM programs have received mixed reviews among the Ghanaians the
      > program is supposed to be targeting.
      > Nana Korsah VII, chief of Ekumpoano village 85 km west of the capital, Accra, which
      > has about 2,000 inhabitants, agreed giving parents good jobs would go a long way to
      > stamp out child trafficking.
      > "I can't give them work to do and I feel guilty stopping them from sending their
      > children to work for others so they can make some additional money," he said.
      > But for Korsah, that responsibility rests first with Ghana's elected officials, not
      > the IOM. "The government must first take care of the poverty situation then my
      > education campaign to get my people to stop the trafficking will be effective," he
      > said.
      > Kojo Asante, a primary school teacher in Accra takes a harder line approach,
      > suggesting a few arrests would send a strong message.
      > "We should forget about campaigns through radio and vans [with loudspeakers]," Asante
      > said. "We should get one mother and prosecute her, and make sure the case is
      > highlighted. Then let's see whether it won't change."
      > em/np/nr[END]
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