Mr Israel Aklorbortu, Volta Regional Director, Department of Children has called on religious groups especially Christian leaders to play key roles in advocating the rights of children and teenagers in society.
He said children had rights including; freedom from discrimination, information and education on sexual reproductive health and re-entry policy to get teenage mothers back to school and must be made to enjoy them.
Mr Aklorbortu said that would enable young people especially teenage girls, take right decisions in life regarding their health, well-being and dignity and that it was time churches played a part.
“Let the churches preach the gospel but beyond that they should allow people who are actors in the area of child protection to also engage the children because I always say that the technological world in which these children are born into is far different from ours. Therefore, before we take decisions for them, we must engage them for they know the solutions to their problems.”
Mr Aklorbortu said this when presenting a topic on issues affecting teenagers and their consequences at a forum organised by Department of Gender, Volta Region with funding support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) held at Adidome, Central Tongu.
The one-day forum, a follow up on an earlier one held last year, which was an all-men and boys engagement to discuss teenage pregnancy issues, sought to go through the recommendations for acceptance and use in some 10 communities on a pilot basis aimed at reducing adolescent pregnancies and child marriages in the district.
The Regional Director said it was important measures were put in place to protect children from threats of child trafficking, substance use, online violence, teenage pregnancy among others, which had tendencies of destroying their future and by extension, Ghana’s future.
Madam Comfort Seglah, Central Tongu District Director, Department of Social Welfare called on parents to assign equal household chores to both boys and girls at home, not to overburden girls.
She said that socialisation would help boys learn how to “do simple things like cooking and washing”, which would be useful to them and to the girls, provide them ample time for studies and other trainings without having to believe that the place for the girl would always be in the kitchen.