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General News of Thursday, 1 December 2016

Source: GNA

Children must be protected on election day - Bright Appiah

The Electoral Commission (EC) has been called upon to ensure that it prevents any suspected persons below the age of 18 from participating in the voting exercise.

“Any person found to have engaged children in that manner must be dealt with as prescribed by law”, Mr Bright Appiah, Executive Director of Child Rights International has said.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday in Accra, Mr Appiah asked the EC to follow the Supreme Court Consequential order not to allow children to vote.

In the Abu Ramadan case, the Supreme Court asked the EC to delete the names of minors in the Voters Register.

Mr Appiah said since the interest of children matter in the December 7 elections, there was the need for the necessary steps to be taken to ensure their welfare.

He said although Ghana Education Service had declared a holiday for school children on Election Day, matters of security for children everywhere in the country should be a concern for all.

Mr Appiah explained that areas that children were supposed to be during the election period like schools, children’s park, correctional homes and shelters should be classified as flash points.

The EC, security agencies, political parties and other stakeholders in the elections should facilitate the protection of children.

Mr Appiah commended political parties for demonstrating their commitments towards ensuring the non-participatory rights of children in elections in Ghana.

“Political parties have demonstrated this commitment as we see minimal use of children in political activities. On this we want to congratulate the political parties for demonstrating their commitment in this regard and do hope to continue in our collective efforts to protect children in Ghana,” Mr Appiah said.

He advised children to do their parts by staying at home and witness the process of voting while their parents or guardians protect and direct them.

Mr Appiah urged the media to join in keeping watch for the safety of children by reporting positively and protectively on children throughout the election period and at all times.

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