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Politics of Monday, 4 August 2008

Source: GNA

Don't register minors to vote - NGO

Accra, Aug. 4, GNA - The Children's Rights International (CRI), a Non-Governmental Organisation, on Monday appealed to political parties to desist from any attempt of registering children below the age of 18 years. A statement signed by Mr. Bright Appiah, Executive Director of CRI, said any attempt to register children below the age of 18 years amounted to deprivation of their basic rights such as free medical care under the National Health Insurance Scheme and other welfare policies demanded by Act 560, hence violation of children's rights. It said according to the Act, a child was any person below the age of 18 years and it was a document that was protecting the interest of children.

"It is important to recognize its possible demands for the protection of children's rights and their inherent dignity. The Act again promotes privileges for children which cannot be exercised above the age limit." The statement said it was very important to give children their place in society for proper training to become responsible in the future.

It said it was very necessary for every person in Ghana including all the political parties to respect the rights of children and their dignity.

The CRI urged children below the age of 18 not to participate or be forced to participate in the registration process for the selfish interest of one person or a group of people. "There was an instance where a man constantly engaged a girl at the age of 15 years in sexual activities and the man claimed the young girl has ever voted, therefore, it was not a crime." It said the protection by the law should be of paramount interest to all parties in the country. "It is incumbent on every citizen of Ghana to respect children's rights to survival, protection, development and proper participation," the NGO said.

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