A Senior Investigator at the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, Inspector Vivian Sarpong has appealed to master craftsmen and women to respect the rights of apprentices under them.
She said periodically the leadership of dressmakers, especially seamstress and beautician associations must be reminding their members at meetings on the need for them to exhibit positive attitudes towards their apprentices.
Inspector Sarpong, of the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional Office of the DOVVSU made the appeal at a day’s sensitisation meeting with 100 apprentices on Thursday at Nkoranza in the Bono East Region.
She said some craftswomen abused their girl apprentices in diverse ways, saying that, some even offered them as sex partners to their male friends for money whilst others used them as maidservants.
Under the theme “Sexual and Gender-Based Violence ((SGBV)”, the meeting was jointly organised by the DOVVSU and the Bono Regional Coordinating Council and sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund.
It was aimed at educating the participants, mainly adolescents and youth on the effects and prevention of SGBV to promote gender equality at home, work places and communities.
Attending the meeting were hairdressers’, seamstresses’, beauticians’, carpenters’, welders’, electricians’ and mechanics’ apprentices, drawn from Nkoranza Municipality, Jema and Yeji in the Kintampo South and Pru East Districts respectively.
Inspector Sarpong said apprentices should not be treated in any way that could negatively affect their psychological disposition, which could distract them of their missions.
She said master craftsmen and women did not have any right to subject their apprentices to any form of slavery and urged apprentices to report any actions that affected their rights at the appropriate quarters for prosecution to serve as a deterrent.
Madam Francisca Partoa, the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional Regulatory Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority urged the participants to avoid abuse of drugs like tramadol and remain focused to achieve their dreams in life.
She said tramadol and other hard drugs had diverse health implications, which could lead to death if abused and urged them to take drugs only prescribed by medical practitioners and other health personnel.
Mr. Kusi Appiah, the Techiman branch President of the Association of Small Scale Industries, advised apprentices to be submissive to obtain the needed knowledge and skills from their masters.