NGO unlawfully detains 30 children in the Afram Plains

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm June 17, 2017 19:10

NGO unlawfully detains 30 children in the Afram Plains

Thirty children have been unlawfully detained by International Justice Mission (IJM) a non-governmental organisation (NGO), in the Afram Plains North Constituency of the Eastern Region for allegedly engaging in child labour activities.

Residents of the Afram Plains North Constituency have, therefore, petitioned the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to help release their children who have been in the custody of the IJM after the raid.

The petitioners are made up of leaders and indigenes of the riverine and fishing communities in the Afram Plains North Constituency.

According to them, IJM, in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and some armed policemen, raided and arrested some inhabitants of the area, including children who were returning from the lake.

The raid, according to the petition, occurred during vacation when the children were on holidays from school.

Alleged child labourers

The report said about 30 children who were caught in the raid had since been detained in an unknown place.

“Upon enquiry, we were informed that our children were allegedly engaged in child labour and as such it was necessary that they were detained. We found such a reason most unfortunate and without any basis whatsoever. Such reason can only be given by people who have little or no understanding of the anthropology, social setting and the culture of our people,” the petition stated.

“Our people have not in any way engaged or encouraged the engagement of their children in child labour as being claimed by IJM volunteers and your ministry. Our communities are mostly Islands surrounded by lakes and thereby making fishing our main source of occupation and travelling by the lake is our main source of transport”, they added.

It explained that the “rate at which Fulani herdsmen invade the communities causing harm which sometimes lead to the death of people,” it was necessary we take our children along to the farms and lakes during vacation”.

Traditional society

“Knowing the background of our people, it cannot be said that our people have engaged in child labour when in fact what they have done was to travel the lake with their children.”

“Indeed, as a traditional society, we have our own customs which prevents people from engaging their children in acts which seeks to affect the health, development or education,” it stated.

The petitioners contended that the continuous act of detaining their people and children without their consent was unlawful and unconstitutional, and added that they were also disappointed by the inaction of the Ministry for Gender and Social Protection.

They prayed the ministry to use its office to remedy the wrong done against its people by releasing its people and the children from the unlawful detention.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm June 17, 2017 19:10
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