They should spearhead the advocacy for enactment and enforcement of child protection laws in their districts and local communities.
Ms Irene Sawerteh, Campaign Coordinator of World Vision Ghana (WVG), who made the appeal, said active involvement of chiefs, queens and other opinion leaders was the surest way of guaranteeing an end to early child marriages in rural communities.
She was speaking at a stakeholders’ forum to dialogue on issues of early child marriages and necessary steps needed to be taken to end it, at Atebubu in the Atebubu-Amanting Municipality.
The forum, which was organised by WVG brought together chiefs, queens, Assembly members, representatives from the Department of Social Welfare, Ghana Education Service, Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) as well as the Judicial Service, parents and school children.
Ms Sawerteh said early child marriage did not only deny the child the right to quality education and health, but also perpetuated poverty in rural communities.
She said it was the responsibility of parents and other family members to provide quality care to their girl-child and avoid conditions that could push the children into early marriages and parenting.
Nana Owusu Takyi I, Chief of Konkrope, stressed the need for a concerted efforts by all to end early child marriage.
Mr Joseph Kwogyenga, the Sekyere East Cluster Manager of WVG, said the forum was part of efforts to form partnerships to curb the menace of early child marriages, while at the same time, promoting the respect of the rights of children in rural communities.