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Regional News of Wednesday, 16 March 2005

Source: GNA

Workshop on child trafficking ends in Bawku

Bawku (U/E), March 16, GNA - The Bawku Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Abdul-Rahman Gumah, has called for effective networking between the security services and community opinion leaders to address the high incidence of child trafficking in the Municipality.

Mr Gumah noted that child trafficking was a major obstacle to the health and educational development of the victims and, therefore, called for concerted efforts to eradicate the human rights abuse. He was speaking at a day's workshop organized by the Ghana NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child in collaboration with the Bawku East Women Development Association (BEWDA) in Bawku in the Upper East Region.

It was aimed at establishing a network linkage between vigilante committees of the Anti-Child Trafficking Group and the security services to step up surveillance on child smugglers in the area.

Mr Gumah said available statistics indicted that child migration was 253 in 2002 and 340 in 2003 while people living on streets, popularly called 'streetism' went up from 194 to 211 within the same period. He said the Municipal Assembly would enact byelaws to eliminate child abuse and exploitation.

The Municipal Police Commander, Chief Superintendent David Sampana Sarpark, said circulars had been sent to all the security checkpoints to halt child trafficking especially by people who claimed they were looking for house-helps.

Mr Abubakar Shaibu, Programme Manager of BEWDA, said child trafficking often denied the victims access to quality education, health, shelter, parental care and a bright future.

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