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Parliament Zooms On Sex Offenders

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Members of Ghana’s Parliament have called for stiffer punishment for perpetrators of sexual violence to serve a stronger deterrent to potential culprits.

The lawmakers in unison decried the recent defilement of a four-year old girl at Assin Adadientem in the Assin South District of the Central Region.

They condemned all forms of sexual violence which they said defiles the body of victims and affect their self-esteem and sexual relationships in the future.

The call by the legislators followed  a statement made by Member of Parliament for Assin South, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour  on the floor of Parliament  yesterday condemning the defilement case which occurred in his constituency.

“I strongly condemn the alleged dastardly act in no uncertain terms. It grossly violates the fundamental human rights and dignity of this innocent girl,” Rev. Fordjour said.

He disclosed that education and awareness creation campaigns will be organized in the area to educate residents on the negative implications of rape, defilement and other sexual attacks.

The Assin South legislator appealed to Parliament and other relevant stakeholders to join efforts to collectively fight to root out from society “the unfortunate trend of defilement, rape and all other sexual abuses within the shortest possible time.”

Rev. John Ntim Fordjour also commended the joint action of the Ghana Police Service, the Gender, Children and Social Protection Ministry, the media and other stakeholders to ensure justice is done to the victim.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey expressed worry about the security and safety of the girl and observed that the actions of the parents of the victim can easily identify the residence and the child.

The Member of Parliament for Anyaa Sowutuom said the perpetrator of the act must be made to face the law instead.

Helen Adjoa Ntoso, Member of Parliament for Krachi West,noted that such issues often happen at low income areas and rural communities and advised irresponsible men to go and pay good money to have responsible women rather than paying small money to have their way.

She called on responsible agencies such as the Ministry and the Social Welfare to take up the responsibility of affected children to relief their families from the difficulties that arise in such situations.

Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak said Ghana’s laws on sexually related violence are too lenient and must be toughened to punish people who engage in such crimes.

He urged the Gender Ministry to bring a proposed amendment of the Children’s Act to Parliament for a review to propose more deterrent measures.

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, abhors public expression of sympathy towards offenders.

This he said was largely to blame for the persistence of sexually related violence and called for an end to out of court settlement in rape and defilement cases.

Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, directed that the Gender Committee collaborated with stakeholders to curb the menace of sex violence in the country at large and report to the House in due course for action.

Source: Christian Kpesese/ thePublisher

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