The Working Group on Women, Youth, Peace and Security – Ghana chapter (WGWYPS-GH), has noted with concern the alarming incidences of crime and criminal acts in Ghana in recent times.
The WGWYPS-GH in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency said a cursory look at media reportage in line with social media and the mainstream media chronicles a litany of criminal activities with devastating consequences on the general populace.
“A total of 495-armed robbery cases were recorded in the first quarter of 2021, and we have started witnessing heightened armed robbery cases in the second quarter with devastating consequences,” it said.
“More worrisome is the fact that these criminal gangs have become more sophisticated in their acts, thus outwitting established security mechanisms and evading justice.”
The statement said the group was also concerned with the rise in homicide cases and that of the defilement of minors.
It said the escalation in criminal activities had prompted well-meaning Ghanaians and other concerned groups, particularly civil society organizations, to demand accountability from government on its duty to protect lives and properties of the citizenry.
“From the ongoing, it had become glaring that government is not keeping to its promise of ensuring a secure environment where the citizens feel safe and protected as enshrined in pillar 1 of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), which enjoins all member states to protect its populations”.
It noted that the Responsibility to Protect was a global political commitment which was endorsed by all member states of the United Nations at the 2005 World Summit.
It said the Group notes that the rise in criminal acts continue to impact women’s peace and security and deepen violence against women.
It intimated that the Group further notes that women and youth have been worst hit in these circumstances, not dimming the fact that they also have been perpetrators of some of the criminal acts and have become easy prey to criminal minded people and groups for material gratifications.
It said “the Group hereby wishes to draw attention to this dire situation and joins other concerned Ghanaian citizens, groups and organizations to urge government to deliver on their commitment to protect lives and properties of its citizens.
“As the situation continues to escalate, some sections of the populace are increasingly relying on vigilante groups and other alternative security mechanisms, which can sometimes become counterproductive,” it said.
“Indeed, cases abound where the vigilante groups have lost focus and became the perpetrators of crime themselves.
“As we inch closer to marking the International Youth Day (IYD) on August 12, 2021, under the theme: Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”, it has become imperative to ensure that our youth are meaningfully engaged and participate fully in the promotion
of peace and stability in Ghana.”
The statement said this could only be achieved in a safe, secure and non-violent environment.
“This is a clarion call to government to as a matter of urgency put appropriate mechanisms in place to safeguard the lives and properties of Ghanaian citizens,” it said.
“We urge government to keep our women and girls safe, to engage the youth meaningfully through formal/vocational education and to make available skill building and employment opportunities. This is our plea!”
The Working Group on Women, Youth, Peace and Security in West Africa (WGWYPS-WA) was set up by UNOWAS in 2009 with national chapters in all the Member States.
WGWPS-WA is a platform for exchange, coordination and harmonization of actions of CSOs, UN Agencies and other stakeholders in the implementation of UNSCR 1325, 2250 and related resolutions.
The Ghana chapter of the Working Group (WGWYPS-GH) started about five years ago as an inclusive platform that seeks to build a world of peace and security where women and youth are agents of conflict prevention and peace building in the country.
WANEP is presently, the convener of the Group, with members drawn from other civil society organizations, government agencies, development partners, women and youth groups, faith-based and community-based organizations.