June 1, 2017

The Member of Parliament for Afram Plains North in the Eastern Region, Betty Krosby Mensah, has petitioned Parliament over what she describes as the illegal detention of some 24 children in the area by the Gender Ministry and a Non-Governmental Organisation.

According to the MP, the children were picked up in April 2017 this year on suspicions they were being engaged in child labour. She argued that the NGOs approach is suspicious.

Speaking to Citi News, Ms. Mensah said the concerns of her constituents were that “this NGO, International Justice Mission, never consulted with stakeholders, traditional rulers or opinion leaders to really understand the cultural setting of the Afram Plains area.”

“We simply believe that whatever they were doing is our way of life. Children as young as six years are trained on how to use the lake and how to swim and to survive. When any NGO wakes up without really understanding the setup of the constituency and somebody sits in Accra and writes a report on things they really don’t know about, it becomes a problem.”

“As I speak to you know, we don’t know the whereabouts of the children. These communities were raided during the time children were on vacation and right now, schools have reopened. We need the children to go back to school.”

Some of the stakeholders in the constituency have drafted a petition, and Ms. Mensah has tried to get in touch with the Gender Ministry to present the petition “but all attempts have proven futile.”

“Currently, I have filed the report with the secretariat. I have copied the IGP’s office because there were some police involved in the raid. I have also filed a copy of the petition to the right honourable speaker’s office. I am waiting for the Speaker’s approval and then I will take it on,” the MP said.