By Nicholas Osei-Wusu
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, CHRAJ, has urged the public, particularly adolescent girls and children who suffer any form of abuse including sexual violence but are frustrated from seeking justice, to lodge formal complaints at any of the Commission’s Regional and District offices for intervention.
CHRAJ insists that no perpetrator of human rights abuses especially sexual violence and harassment should go unpunished. The Ashanti Regional Director of CHRAJ, Mrs. Cynthia Martison gave the advice in Kumasi at an awareness creation forum for vulnerable members of society.
The forum was organized by the Ashanti Regional Secretariat of the National Youth Authority, as part of its mandate towards addressing concerns of the youth. It was in partnership with the UN Population Fund and the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council.
Participants came from vulnerable groups in the Kumasi Metropolis such as Head Porters commonly referred to as Kayayei, vulnerable teenage victims of sexual abuse. Also available to listen to, and address their concerns were officials from the Department of Social Welfare, the National Commission for Civic Education, Ghana Health Service, Religious and Traditional Leaders.
The participants raised issues ranging from inadequate information about their rights and responsibilities, when encountering abuse and harassment to frustrations at some Domestic Violence & Victims Support Unit, DOVVSU Offices in their attempt to seek justice after suffering from violence.
A Reproductive Health Nurse with the Ghana Health Service, Mrs. Sandra Gyamfi said the Ghana Health Service has set up Adolescent and Reproductive Health Units at the healthcare facilities to provide Confidential and Counseling Services to the youth for which especially teenagers, must take advantage of to promptly report all sexual health matters for resolution.
The Ashanti Regional Director of CHRAJ, Mrs. Cynthia Martison, explained that apart from investigating corruption and administrative malpractices, CHRAJ is also mandated to provide justice for victims of abuse of any form including sexual and human right violence.
“Victims of abuse who are frustrated in using formal structures can seek redress by contacting CHRAJ for support.”
The Programmes Director of the Muslims Family Counsel Services, Mohammed Bun Bida, told GBC News that Ashanti, Eastern and Central Regions continue to lead in the national rankings of teenage pregnancies.
“Assessments have also disclosed that the Zongo and Muslim-dominated communities have more of the cases thereby requiring national attention.”
Ashanti Regional Director of the National Youth Authority, George Oswell Amponsah explained that the event follows a similar one held 2020 for in-school adolescents to create increased awareness about the increasing incidences of sexual abuse.