'Be friendly with your children'

Accra, May 21, GNA – Mr Dabre Tanko, a Senior Social Development Officer of the Amasaman Department of Social Welfare has urged parents to be sociable to their children to encourage free flow of information.

He said: ‘unfriendly parents sometimes make their children to become rebellious and keep matters for themselves.’

Mr Tanko gave the advice at a sensitisation programme on family and child protection at Oduman in the Ga West Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.

It was organised by the ActionAid Ghana, a non-governmental organisation under its ‘End Child Marriage Campaign Project’ which is being implemented in the Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Brong Ahafo, Central and the Greater Accra Regions.

Mr Tanko asked parents to acquire birth certificates for their children in order to defend their cases anytime the children, especially girls were abused.

‘Sometimes the body features of girls under 18 years deceived some men to force the girls into unlawful sex and marriage to the detriment of their education and so the availability of birth certificates will authenticate their arguments on their age,’ he said.

He said caning as part of punishment in schools had been banned, ‘anyway caning is not the only means of disciplining a child and parents could adopt other forms which will not be injurious to their children.’

Mr Tanko advised parents to monitor the movement of their children so that they would not engage in negative activities such as; smoking, alcoholism and other vices.

He said it was the responsibility of all citizens to protect the child and it should start from the home, before the community and the nation at large.

He called on community members to come together and report anti-social activities in their areas to duty bearers like the Social Welfare and Community Development Departments, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, and the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service and the Assemblies for redress.

Police Inspector Lydia Asante of the Amasaman DOVVSU who spoke on defilement and rape said having carnal knowledge of a girl below the age of 18 is a defilement either by consent or not; and having forced sexual intercourse with an adult woman is a rape and both offences were liable to long term prison sentences by court.

Inspector Asante therefore entreated men to shun such temptations.