International Needs Ghana (INGH), a Christian non-governmental organisation, has expressed its commitment to help reduce the incidence of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) in the country by 2014.

To this end, INGH has initiated a project dubbed, ?Protection, Rescue and Rehabilitation of Children from Commercial Sexual Exploitation? to withdraw about 500 children in Accra from sexual exploitation and empower 200 families who are victims of CSEC, economically.

The project runs from July 2011 to June 2014 and targeted at children between the ages of 12 to 18 in communities such as Osu, La, Nima, Maamobi, Accra Newtown, Mallam Atta and Bubiashie.

Speaking at a Press briefing in Accra, Mrs Joyce Odame, Child?s Rights Programme Manager of INGH, noted that CSEC was one of the worst forms of child labour which affects the physical, mental and moral well being of children.

She called the act ?Gross Violation of the Rights of Children? since it engages children in sexual activity in exchange for monetary or material gains.

According to her, the incidence of CSEC was a major problem which had resulted in high rate of teenage pregnancy, abortions, single motherhood and unemployment.

Mrs Odame mentioned some factors leading to CSEC as irresponsible parenting, poverty, rural urban migration, loose family bonds, low priority placed on education and non enforcement of laws.

On the success of the project, she said about 150 children have been prevented and withdrawn from CSEC out of which 50 have been supported and reunited with their families.

She said 80 parents and caregivers have been supported by introducing them to the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) concept adding that parents were yet to be screened to determine those who really needed support to set up small business.

Speaking on the challenges, Mrs Odame said some of the children have dropped out of training after providing them with tools and paying their fees.

According to her, other children were not regular at school because of extra demands made on them.

She also noted that parents who have been introduced to the VSLA do not seem to be interested because they expect INGH to give them money.

Mrs Odame called on government and other organisations to come on board to fight the menace in the country.

Source: GNA

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