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Child marriage is a violation of human rights – HRRG

The Human Rights Reporters Ghana, a social advocacy Non-governmental organisation has stated that child marriage is a violation of human rights, and no tradition can justify such exploitation and harm inflicted upon a young girl.

‘Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) is outraged by the recent incident involving Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII, a 63-year-old traditional priest, marrying a 12-year-old girl in Ghana’.

A statement signed by Mr Joseph Kobla Wemakor, Executive Director of HRRG and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said ‘This deplorable act, conducted under the guise of tradition, is a flagrant violation of human rights and must be met with swift and decisive action.

‘In the face of criticism and calls for dissolution of the marriage, community leaders have attempted to defend this abhorrent union by citing customs and traditions’.

The statement said the legal minimum age for marriage in Ghana was 18, and while the prevalence of child marriage had decreased, it continued to persist in so
me communities.

‘According to Girls Not Brides, 19% of girls in Ghana are married before the age of 18, with 5% married before their 15th birthday.

‘HRRG is appalled by the reports of the ceremonial event, where the young girl was advised on wifely duties and encouraged to enhance her sexual appeal to her husband. Such statements not only perpetuate harmful gender norms but also normalize and condone the exploitation of a child under the guise of tradition’.

The statement said as a leading non-profit organization dedicated to promoting human rights and social justice in Ghana, HRRG called on Ghanaian authorities to Annul the marriage between Numb Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII and the 12-year-old girl, Conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the marriage and hold those responsible for the violation of the girl’s rights accountable

It said the defense of this marriage as a mere tradition is unacceptable.

‘ Ghanaian law recognizes customary marriages but does not condone child marr
iages under the pretext of culture or tradition. It is incumbent upon the authorities to uphold the rights and dignity of all individuals, particularly vulnerable children who are at risk of exploitation and harm’.

Source: Ghana News Agency