In their quest to protect women and children’s legal rights in Ghana and beyond, Pan-African Organization for Research and Protection of Violence on Women and Children (PAORP-VWC) in Kumbungu District in the Northern Region of Ghana sensitized the community using drama and cultural dance competitions under the theme; “Promotion of protection against child trafficking and child early and forced marriage in Northern Region.”

The occasion took place at the forecourt of Nibrasia Junior High School in Kumbungu. In attendance were officers from the Kumbungu District Ghana Education Service (GES), Project Officer for Kumbungu District Social Welfare Department, parents, opinion leaders from the communities and school children.

Kumbungu District officer of PAORP-VWC, Madam Felicia Amoanab addressing the gathering on behalf of the Country Director for the organization, Dr. Peter Ndonwie outlined the mission and vision of PAORP-VWC.

On his part, Social Development Officer of the Kumbungu Social Welfare Department, Mr. Derrick Slonimpah took the gathering through the laws of Ghana on the rights of children, as well as the legal implications of breaking the laws. He however educated children and parents on their rights and responsibilities per the 1992 constitution of Ghana.

Madam Mariama Sulemana, Kumbungu District Girl Child Education Coordinator of GES advised school children to take their studies seriously and stay away from acts that can jeopardize their education and future.

The event became colorful with Dagomba cultural dance and singing performances as well as a drama on child trafficking, child early and forced marriages and irresponsible parenting by groups drawn from the Kumbungu District.

Tungteeya Cultural Group emerged winners with their “Jara” dance performance, while Suglo Cultural Group took the second position with “Bamaya” dance performance. CYA Drama Group came first with a drama performance on child early and forced marriage and irresponsible parenting, while the Health Drama Group took the second position. However, Bagbebu Group performed “Tora” dance and songs related to child trafficking and child early marriages.

Meanwhile, performing groups received awards for participating at the end of the event.

Pan African Organization is a human right organization for research and protection against all forms of violence against women and children. This NGO works closely with a German-based donor partner; Child Rights Africa (KiRA), through a collaborative effort between the Government of Ghana and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Government of Ghana ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1990 and participated in the world summit on children. It also embarked on a number of reforms to provide education, health, food and security and protection of the rights children from1990s.

In 1992, a ten-year national program of action called “The Child Cannot Wait” was drawn up to fulfill the demands of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The process of law reform began in 1995 and the draft 4 children’s’ bill was prepared in conformity with existing legislation and CRC. The bill was passed by the parliament of Ghana as the ‘The Children’s Act (Act 560) in June 1998. This Act defines a child as any human being below the age of eighteen.

Story by Patience Nawang

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