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General News of Thursday, 7 February 2008

Source: GNA

CHRAJ bemoans child prostitution

Accra, Feb. 7, GNA - The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on Thursday expressed concern over the spate of child prostitution, saying that, the alarming situation where Ghana's children are being exploited for commercial sex, posed a great threat to the nation.

A statement signed by Ms. Anna Bossman, Acting Commissioner, CHRAJ, said prostitution was illegal and undignified even when practiced by adults and it was even more horrendous and extremely injurious when children were involved.

It is particularly difficult to assess the extent of child prostitution because this type of exploitation and abuse is usually hidden, taking place behind closed doors and most children feel too much guilty, shy and frightened to seek help.

The statement noted that the unfortunate incident of 140 children alleged to have escaped from the Social Welfare Department after being rescued from prostitution by the Police was a critical setback, which created more opportunities for the children to be continually abused. It said an awareness creation campaign of the challenges of poverty, exploitation and rights abuse facing children was vital to enable the facilitation of a safer world although entry into prostitution should not be imputed on economic necessity.

This campaign, the statement said, must be implemented urgently while government scaled up efforts through resource allocation, political action, increases co-operation and more focused partnerships with law enforcement agencies, media and civil society. The statement called for alertness to ensure that all children enjoyed maximum protection, free from abuse, stigmatization and psychological trauma.

CHRAJ urged communities and families to report any abuse to relevant authorities without delay and entreated all persons to strive for their well-being.

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