Child rights cases on the rise – CHRAJ
A third of all Human Rights complaints filed at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) last year, related to Child Rights.
Data compiled by CHRAJ, and shared with the Ghana News Agency, indicate that out of a total of 8,412 Human Rights complaints filed in 2021, 2,791 of the cases, representing 32.2 per cent were classified under Child Rights.
The figure represents 19 per cent rise in the total number of cases recorded in 2020.
Whereas 2,340 cases were recorded in 2020, the figure shot up by 451 to settle at 2,791 in 2021.
In 2021, the Commission received a total of 146 Right to Education cases, 1,914 Right to Maintenance (necessaries of life) cases, five Right to Health cases, and 215 Right to Access to Natural Parents.
The rest are: Defilement, 18, Child Trafficking, 15, Early and Forced Marriages, 22, Inhuman Treatment, 41, Right to Name, 16, and Right to Lawful Custody, 310.
In an interview with the GNA, Mr Joseph Whittal, Commissioner of CHRAJ, attributed the rise in Child Rights cases to economic hardships.
He said economic hardships experienced by some parents accounted for the rise in child neglect complaints.
Mr Whittal said some parents could not cater for their children as many had lost their jobs and, therefore, lacked the financial strength to fend for their families.
He also attributed the increasing rate of child neglect to the lifestyle of some parents who invested in other things other than the welfare and future of their children.
The Commissioner said sometimes the respondents of the cases were “capable persons” in society, ‘‘but they tell you that they want their children to take care of their businesses so there is no need for the children to go to school.’’
Mr Whittal said some parents also considered the Junior High School level of their children as enough for them to take up family businesses, hence education was not important to them.
The Commissioner called for continuous advocacy for couples to have smaller family sizes they could cater for efficiently.
‘‘We can be rational enough to know that what our forefathers used to do is no longer possible so let’s change. We are working with Non-Governmental Organisations in that sector to address these issues of large family size,’’ he said.
CHRAJ has a broad mandate to protect universal human rights and freedoms, especially those in the 1992 Constitution, including civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights.