The Reverend Dr Kwabena Opuni, General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) on Thursday said it is wrong to adopt the name “commercial sex workers” for prostitutes in the country because prostitution is still illegal.
“The country has not legalized prostitution and prostitutes do not pay taxes from their practice in Ghana and therefore they could not be labeled as commercial sex workers, like in other countries, which have legalized prostitution,” Rev Opuni explained.
Rev Opuni made the remarks in Accra at the launch of a documentary dubbed; “Echoes of Pain,” which showcases the trend of worst forms of child labour, especially among the girl-child.
The documentary, carried out under the Councils Human Rights project, showcases young girls under 16 years engaging in prostitution, stone cracking and weeding on cocoa farms at the peril of their education and socio-economic development.
The 45-minutes documentary, developed from a survey carried out in selected regions namely Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Western, Greater Accra, Volta and Eastern between March and August this year, reveals serious human rights issues that affected the dignity of the girl-child.
Rev Opuni said the Council did not frown on children helping or assisting their parents at home through engaging in menial jobs and chores but disagree with those engaging in any worst forms of child labour.
He explained that worst forms of child labour was becoming serious issues, endangering the lives of the vulnerable and therefore needed the urgent attention of policy makers, parliamentarians, religious bodies, parents and traditional rulers to address them.
“We need attitudinal change. We should not neglect our children or push them into prostitution, stone cracking, and doing hard work in cocoa farms”.
He, therefore, called on all stakeholders, to join hands in eliminating the worst forms of child labour, especially among the girl-child, so that they could all grow up and become responsible adults in the country.
Ms Joyce Larko Steiner, Programme Manager, Human Right and Gender, CCG, said various educational campaigns and awareness creation would be embarked upon to sensitise stakeholders on the issues of child labour “so we all could together work at addressing the issues”.
She urged the media to partner with the Council to fight the menace until the girl-child begins to have hope.
She also announced that the Christian Council was working with the Ghana Statistical Service to gather data on the situation of child prostitution in the country to ensure an available data that would guide policy makers.