A 16-year–old pupil of Yeji Methodist Junior High School, Juliana Kamanya, has appealed to human rights organisations to intervene and stop her parents from forcing her into early marriage.

“Because I had on four occasions refused to accept an offer of early marriage, my parents have driven me away from home,” she lamented.

Miss Kamanya has therefore, appealed to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), The Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) and the Social Welfare Department to intervene.

She made the appeal at a forum on Advocacy Process of Law Making for basic School pupils at Yeji, in the Pru District of the Brong-Ahafo Region.

The forum, which was organized by the project Abroad of Human Rights, a non- governmental organization, was to sensitize the pupils on the effects of domestic violence and child abuse in the area.

Miss Kamanya said because she had refused to go into early marriage, her parents had shirked their responsibilities of caring for her, thus compelling her to go into fishing and farming to meet her educational needs. “I am humbly appealing to CHRAJ, DOVVSU and Social welfare to come to my aid,” she said.

Mr. Kenneth Palme, Project Coordinator of the NGO, underscored the need for parents to show keen interest in the education of their children, and advised the pupils to take their studies serious, regardless of the trauma they went through.

Mr. Robert Adjei and Mr. Stephen Tachie Abeam, headmasters of the local Roman Catholic and Methodist Junior high schools respectively, expressed worry that pupils abandon schools on Mondays, the market days at Yeji, to assist their parents in their economic activities.

They also expressed concern about the attitudes of some parents who engaged their children of school-going age on the farms or fishing to the detriment of their education.

The headmasters commended the NGO for the sensitization forum, saying it would enhance their education on, and eliminate child trafficking and child labour in the district. Mr Ephraim De-Souza,Aatebubu District Director of CHRAJ, asked the pupils to report people who attempted to defile or rape them to the police for law to take it’s course.

Source: Ghanaian Times

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