Rebranding witch camps my topmost priority – Adwoa Safo
Madam Sarah Adjoa Safo, the Minister-Designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection says her number one agenda when approved by Parliament of Ghana would be to renovate all witch camps in the country to a modern day aspect for better satisfaction.
According to her, contrary to speculations, it is rather witch camps that serve as a place of refuge for several women who have been branded as witches by their community.
Adwoa Safo believes that the existence of these witch camps prevents several women in the Northern region from being killed and that refusing to rebrand it will be disastrous.
She made this known when she appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament last, Wednesday, February 17, 2021.
“If I am given the nod, what I will first do is to engage and visit some of the camps and engage these alleged witches. I will further engage the traditional authorities and opinion leaders in these areas to get a very clear picture of what indeed ought to be done. That is not to say that the Ministry hasn’t done anything. I chanced upon some documents which indicated that in Gambaga witches camp for instance, there are 600 inmates. When they were engaged only one was prepared to come back home.
“So I believe that a rebranding of these camps because as far as the women of these camps are concerned they have found families in these camps and so I will engage them. Attempts to withdraw these women have proven difficult in the past that is why I believe that another and a novel approach to dealing with the matter will be more prudent.
“So, if they see it as homes and the ministry supports them with the necessary social amenities that is expected of a state – they are given food, they are put on LEAP, and they are given clothing – I believe that negative branding as a witches camp will be taken away and . I intend to go through with them some education on the need for them to also know that the abusive methods on them are not legal and they can speak out and report to the Police”
Asked what her plans will be in resolving the issues of child trafficking menace in the country, the former Procurement Minister, explained that she will ask officials of the ministry working on child trafficking issues to brief her on the state of affairs as far as the fight against the problem is concerned.
“Human trafficking, I know that this House passed the Human Trafficking Act of 2005 that the Ministry is working with. We also have the Human Trafficking Prohibition Protection and Reintegration of Trafficked Persons Regulations of 2015. These are all legal frameworks within which to deal with the menace,”
She added “When I get to the ministry I will engage the department of human trafficking which I know exist for proper briefings on matters relating to that. And then I can proceed on the right strategies and the right policies to continue what has already been started by the Ministry.”