International NGOs Condemn Child Marriage In Accra, Call For Urgent Government Intervention

Plan International Ghana and World Vision Ghana have vehemently condemned the reported marriage between a 12-year-old girl and a 63-year-old traditional priest in Nungua, Accra. The organizations expressed profound concern over the alleged union and rebuked any attempts to justify it under the guise of cultural practices.

This was contained in a joint statement released today, signed by the Country Director of Plan International Ghana, Constant Tchona, and the National Director of World Vision Ghana, Laura Cristina del Valle.

Describing the act as repulsive, the organizations emphasized that there is no justification for marrying off a child, stating that a girl child is not a bride. They underscored the importance of prioritizing the welfare of the child in all situations and condemned child marriage as a form of gender-based violence and a grave violation of human rights.

Highlighting the grave implications of child marriage, particularly on the girl child’s health, education, and overall development, the organizations cited the Children’s Act of Ghana, 1998 (Act 560), which prohibits the marriage or betrothal of children under the age of eighteen (18) years. They also reminded Ghana of its commitment to international conventions such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which obligates the state to eradicate child marriage and protect children from exploitation and abuse.

While commending the Ghana Police Service for swiftly intervening and providing protection to the child and her mother, Plan International Ghana and World Vision Ghana demanded concrete actions from the government.

They urged the enforcement of laws to deter similar acts, collaboration with law enforcement agencies and civil society organizations for swift justice, prevention of parental support for such marriages, abolition of harmful traditional practices, release of the 12-year-old girl to continue her education in a safe environment, protection from victimization and stigma, and extensive public education to raise awareness about harmful traditional practices.

The organizations reaffirmed their commitment to promoting gender equality and ending Child Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM), declaring that it has no place in society and must be eradicated. They pledged to continue providing resources to protect, fulfill, and promote children’s rights, especially those of the girl child, in accordance with international frameworks.

Attached is the Press Statement

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