The United Nations Information Centre Accra has held a durbar which saw over 100 traders from the Kaneshie market vigorously sensitized on child trafficking, child labour and child abuse in commemoration of the 2017 Human Rights Day.
The sensitization forum, which took place at a spot within the Kaneshie Market Complex in Accr,a was aimed at educating market women on the rights of children including the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The participants drawn from the Kaneshie Market Women Association were elated to be informed and empowered by UNIC and its partners with the knowledge to deal with one of the world’s biggest problems which violates rights of children in the country.
Addressing participants, Deputy Director of Public Education at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice Mawuli Avutor noted that protection of the rights of children should be collective responsibility of all.
He cited an instance where he intercepted a child with a heavy basket of goods on his head sent by his mum to be delivered to a neighbour’s house.
He said knowing very well the act was illegal, he acted quickly as a ‘Good Samaritan’ to save the child and later confronted the mother then proceeded to warn her subsequently.
Mr. Avutor therefore charged the public to take up the responsibility to observe and report persons with such illegal acts to the police for the necessary sanctions to be applied to deter others from committing such atrocities.
He warned parents against assigning laborious work to children especially during the night when they are supposed to be sleeping.
For her part, Eva Maison, Secretary of Kaneshie Market Women Association, noted with grave concern the negative effects of child trafficking and other forms of modern slavery on the future of children, saying it’s a ‘cankerworm’ gradually destroying the future of our children therefore must not be allowed to continue”.
Ms. Maison, therefore, called for all hands on deck to eliminate the menace at once to save the future of our children.
She disclosed the forum was a step in the right direction since it would help shape women to be active in playing their roles as caring mothers so as not to infringe on the rights of their children.
She indicated that women play very critical role in shaping the life of children therefore ought to be sensitized and empowered with the right information “so they will be filled with the knowledge to protect the rights of their children”.
In her address, National Information Officer of UNIC Accra Cynthia Prah maintained the Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes the equality and dignity of every human and stipulates that every government has a core duty to enable all people to enjoy all their inalienable rights and freedoms.
“All of us have a right to speak freely and participate in decisions that affect our lives. We all have a right to live free from all forms of discrimination,” she added.
The event also witnessed an interactive session where participants were allowed to ask questions bothering their minds on the topic under discussion. It triggered answers from the facilitators, clearing their minds of doubt on child trafficking and other human rights related issues.
In attendance were some dignitaries from the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), National Commission for Civic Rights, International Organization for migration (IOM), United Nations Population Fund including other United Nations Agencies in the country.
Human Rights Day is the day the United General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights a milestone document, which underpins all international human rights law and inspires us to continue to work to ensure all people can gain freedom, equality and dignity.
This year’s commemoration of Human Rights Day marks the beginning of a year-long celebration of seven decades since the adoption of one of the World’s most profound and far-reaching international agreements.
By Joseph Kobla Wemakor|UNIC Accra