Presentation on theme: "Why it Happens and What We Can Do to Prevent it Aurelia Emerson, Corey Kirby, Damien Angel."— Presentation transcript:
Why it Happens and What We Can Do to Prevent it Aurelia Emerson, Corey Kirby, Damien Angel
Osu Boys’ Remand home is located in Osu, Ghana Inmates ages are supposed to range between 12-18 Many inmates are over the age of 18, some as old as 23
UN Convention on the Rights of a Child – Article 19 1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child. 2. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.
UN Convention on the Rights of a Child – Article 34 States Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. For these purposes, States Parties shall in particular take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent: – (a) The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity; – (b) The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices; – (c) The exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.
While studying the New Admissions log we noticed that the number of defilement cases was higher than stealing, robbery, narcotics and assault We decided to look back over the year and noticed that this was a trend with the new admissions every month
We decided to discuss this trend with our supervisor He held the opinion that the overwhelming number of rape and defilement cases were a result of the increased availability of porn in Ghana due to the internet Many boys felt pressured to “become men”.
“Child pornography via the Internet is an international phenomenon and though Africa is increasing its access rate to the Internet, there are virtually no laws in place to deal with child pornography on the Internet.” “there could be strong links between child pornography on the Internet and other crimes such as child trafficking, child sex tourism and child prostitution, which are increasing concerns in Africa.” Omowumimmodupe Asubiaro, ADDRESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY VIA THE INTERNET IN AFRICA
While we recognized that the increased availability of porn was partially to blame for the high rate of defilement cases, we believed the problem to be deeper and multi-dimensional We decided to research and explore other possible factors
“Titus Ime raped his 19-year-old in-law, Blessing John, to death and when asked why he committed such a heinous act, he went emotional: “I did not intend to kill Blessing but my feelings for her were very strong”” Common excuses for rape: peer pressure, drug/alcohol influence, punishment and benevolence
˝suggests that child sexual offenders first experience three internal offense processes, which lead to precondition I: the motivation to abuse a child. These factors include: 1. the need for emotional gratification from children, 2. factors that make children sexually arousing to the offender, and 3. factors that block socially appropriate sexual experiences with age appropriate partners.˝
“Dr. Niran Okewole, a consultant psychiatrist at the child and adolescent unit, Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta in an interview with DailyTimes affirmed that there is a growing trend of paedophilia, “even in cases that are couched in a religious or cultural context”.” “The psychiatrist noted that not all cases of rape can be attributed to psychiatric problems. Some just involve abuse of a gender power relation, but a good number may follow from an underlying psychiatric disorder, such as sociopathic personality disorder, impulse control disorder or a disorder of sexual preference.” “The Scrounge of Rape”, The Daily Times
Pedophilia did not explain the defilement of young girls by adolescent boys. Especially not the high number we were witnessing. “Statistics from the Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) of the Ghana Police Service, in Accra, for instance indicate that in the year 2001, 58 women from age 18 and above were raped while 204 children some five years and below were defiled. In 2002, 134 women were raped while 533 children were defiled.” “Curbing Rape and Defilement”, Agnes Boye-Doe
We decided that one obvious dimension we could not overlook was the cultural values of Ghana and West Africa. How does the society as a whole view women?
“Since the boys are the ones supposed to carry the family name and take care of their parents in old age, it is not unusual to see parents frowning upon and discouraging female education. It is even assumed a highly educated woman cannot find a suitable husband, since the men become intimidated by them. So what happens is the family’s money is skewed towards ensuring the boys get education whilst the girls are trained and taught how to cook, clean the house, and take care of babies.” This phenomenon was clearly seen when observing the tasks the girls were taught in the Girl’s Industrial School versus what the boys were taught in the Remand Home. Girls were taught to do nails and hair and make bread while the boys were taught math and English.
Religious practices and witchcraft also play into the social view of women Women “witches” are still blamed for deaths of men in many parts of Ghana Women viewed as subservient to men
Unfortunately, when a case of child rape or defilement occurs, many families wish to settle the crime within their own tribe or community and bypass criminal charges Language barriers also contribute to disorganization within the court system
The Ministry of Women and children's Affairs was established in 2001 “The Ministry exists to promote the welfare of women and children in Ghana. It is the entity designated by government to initiate, coordinate and Monitor gender responsive issues. It is to ensure equal status for women and promote rights of children.” “The Ghana Government recognizing that children are vulnerable and require special protection, appropriate to the age, level of maturity and individual needs, ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and was the first country to do so in February 1990.”
In conclusion, enforcement is the key to reducing the rate of rape and defilement of underage girls in Ghana Unfortunately, this cannot become a reality until agencies and the criminal justice system facilitate an environment that discourages the maltreatment of children Lack of resources and manpower are obstacles in achieving this environment
How can resources be regulated so that enforcement of policy becomes a priority? How can we break barriers between tribal communities so that perpetrators of child defilment are held accountable by national standards? How can an environment that encourages the eqaulity of men and women be facilitated?