Nine teenagers rescued from forced marriage in Ashanti

Nine teenage girls have been rescued from forced marriage in the Ashanti Region over the past six months.

Mr. Stephen Ofosu Darfour, the Regional Director of the Department of Children, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the victims are aged between 13 and 16 years.

They are all Muslims and of Malian and Chadian descent, he added.

They were freed through the collaborative effort of the Department, the police Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit and the Defense for Children International (DCI), a local NGO.

He said the Social Welfare Department had taken custody of the victims, adding that, the matter was being investigated by the police and that anybody found to have acted wrongly would be made to face the law.

Mr. Darfour said he found it disturbing that some people, despite public education, continued to force children into early marriages.

That was completely unacceptable and must be fought on all fronts and with renewed energy.

He spoke of the training of people in the communities by his department to monitor and report child abuse cases to the appropriate state institutions for action.

The goal is to help provide adequate protection for the child to ensure their growth and development as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been ratified by the country.

He made reference to Article 24 of the Convention, which talks about the need to protect children from harmful traditional practices and asked that all worked to uphold the agreement.

Source: GNA

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