Child Abuse
Child Abuse

As part of efforts to combat the increasing child and vulnerable abuse in society, the Catholic Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga has called on stakeholders to play critical roles to safeguard the rights of vulnerable children and adults.

It said the exploitation of children and the vulnerable had been on the rise in recent times and, therefore, challenged key stakeholders and institutions to work together to address the menace and ensure they lived dignified lives.

The Catholic Diocese made the call during stakeholders’ interactive training workshop held in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital, on child and vulnerable abuse and how the canker could be addressed.

The programme was organised by the Child Protection Team of the Catholic Education Unit of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese.

It was sponsored by the Hilton Foundation, an American Charity through the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent De Paul and World Vision Ghana.

The workshop brought together stakeholders from the Social Welfare, the Police, Immigration, Fire Service, Department of Children, traditional authorities, the Ghana Education Service, Bureau of National Investigations, the Judiciary, the media, and Christian and Muslim organisations among others.

Reports in recent times indicate that the Catholic Church has been in the lime light for human rights abuses, especially in the Western World, and so it has been under pressure to rise up to the challenge regarding the exploitation of the vulnerable in society, especifically minors.

Most Reverend Alfred Agyenta, the Bishop of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga-Diocese, admitted that the Church did not do enough in the past when it came to reporting human rights abuses within its domain.

That, he indicated, had made the Church to see the urgent need to encourage people to speak up and report social vices within the Church and outside.

He said with collaborative efforts from government, civil society organisations and other stakeholders, the issues could be addressed to promote sustainable development.

Reverend Agyenta noted that the role of the Church to evangelize was not only on the spiritual and moral aspects alone, but also on the human development dimension and, therefore, entreated the stakeholders to portray the likeness of God.

Reverend Sister Bernardine Pemii, the Regional Manager of the Catholic Education Unit, and a member of the Child Protection Team, said for societies to combat child abuses, parents needed to shoulder lots of responsibilities.

She said no amount of investment in education would yield the desired results if parents failed to prioritise the safety of their children, especially at home.

Rev. Pemii admonished parents to adopt the positive aspect of the socio-cultural practices that could contribute significantly to the development of the child and discard the obnoxious ones.

Mr Gregory Dery, the Child Protection and Advocacy Manager of World Vision Ghana, said World Vision Ghana was a Christian organisation with the mission to promote, prevent and protect the rights of children and vulnerable adults from all forms of abuses.

He noted that sensitisation programmes like the workshop would help build capacities of stakeholders to contribute towards preventing abuses.

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