Medical students wage war against child sexual abuse

The Federation of Ghana Medical Students Association (FGMSA) has launched a campaign against child sexual abuse in the country. The campaign, which is an initiative of the Standing Committee on Human Rights and Peace (SCORP) of the FGMSA, is to help sensitise the public on the effects of child sexual abuse on victims and how to get victims to speak out to get culprits identified and arrested.

Targeted at children between one and 17 years, the campaign is on the theme: “’It’s wrong, stand strong, Fight Child Sexual Abuse now!!!” At the launching ceremony in Accra, the Head of the campaign, Mr Kennedy B. Ngaaso, said: “The objective of the programme is to promote and protect the rights of children.” According to him, the rights of children needed to be upheld so that they could grow up in an environment devoid of abuse or other harmful practices.

He said dealing swiftly with perpetrators of child sexual abuse would go a long way to help address the problem and ensure justice for the victims of the criminal act. Mr Ngaaso, therefore, called on parents, family members, teachers and caregivers to lend their support to help wipe out the negative practice by reporting to the right authorities when it happens.

The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs Gifty Twum Ampofo, assured the public that the Human Trafficking and the Domestic Violence secretariats of the ministry would work with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department to ensure that the culprits of child sexual abuse were apprehended and dealt with. She stated that child sexual abuse was wrong regardless of who it happened to because no child deserved to be abused no matter the situation the child was in.

The Head of the Paediatric Department at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Prof. Ebenezer Baddoe, called on the youth to be good advocates of the campaign by liaising with the authorities when such an issue came up. “When it happens to someone don’t say because you are not a family member you will be silent. Don’t stay silent, report it when it happens,” he said, adding that “help the afflicted by contributing to the arrest of the culprit(s) and don’t stigmatise the victims but rather console them”.

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