The project coordinator in-charge of early and forced marriage at , Mr Thomas Bernakuu has indicated that, early and forced marriage is one of the major human right issues the girl child is facing in the Bono-Ahafo region.
He has therefore stressed the need for stakeholders responsible for the protection and promotion of the rights of the girl child to take immediate steps to nib the phenomena in the bud.
MiHoSo according to Thomas Bernakuu conducted a baseline survey in Kintampo North municipality and Busunyaa in the Nkoranza North district in 2012, which revealed 53 and 13 cases of early and forced marriages in the Kintampo municipality and Busunyaa respectively.
The project co-ordinator in an interview on Radio B.A.R stated that in January this year, MiHoSo in collaboration with Gender Centre an NGO based in Accra secured funding from European Union and conducted another baseline survey on early and forced marriages in the Kintampo municipality and Busunyaa in the Nkoranza North district.
‘According to the findings of the baseline survey, the phenomenon is prevalent in the region with Kintampo municipality and Busunyaa recording prevalence of 67 and 87.7 percent respectively’, he disclosed.
He attributed the upsurge in early and forced marriages to poverty which makes parents see their children as burden and give them out for marriage against their wishes.
Mr Bernakuu announced that, their oufit in collaboration with the girl child coordinators of the Ghana Education Service has instituted a support programme as part of the measures to support the education of victims of early and forced marriages for 3 years including the provision of sanitary pads and other basic needs.
According to the project manager, there are numerous cases of early and forced marriages in the communities that are not reported and has therefore called on the people to report such cases to the appropriate institutions to take action in order to prevent the abuse of the rights of the girl child.
Mr Bernakuu urged CHRAJ, DOVVSU, the Gender ministry and other stakeholders to protect and promote the rights of the girl child by enforcing the relevant laws and also punishing perpetrators of the act to serve as a deterrent to others.