Child prostitution is on the increase in five municipalities and districts in the Brong Ahafo Region, says information reaching NEWS-ONE.
The child sex workers, some as young as 15, operate mainly in and around the Techiman, Kintampo, Sunyani, Asutitfi, Pru and Jaman North districts and municipalities.
This was made known in a survey conducted by the Mission of Hope Society (MIHOSO), a child-centered organization in the Brong Ahafo Regional capital, Sunyani.
According to the Chief Executive of MIHOSO, Gabriel Benarku, his outfit conducted a six-month survey in Techiman, Kintampo, Sunyani, Asutitfi, Pru and Jaman North districts, after which they arrived at the findings.
He did not disclose the exact towns and villages where the child prostitutes mostly operated, explaining that such a might affect the study.
Benarku said the findings would be published soon. He also expressed worry about the girls being exploited to engage in commercial sex.
Mr. Benarku made the startling revelations during the celebration of World Day against Child Labour instituted by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
He said the multi-ethnic nature of the people with different beliefs and cultures hindered attempts by the NGO to help eliminate the practice, and called for a national campaign against it.
“At the individual level, many of the children we spoke to have experienced poor health, including being anaemic and stunted growth,” he lamented.
Mr. Benarku said in some of the communities, especially in the cocoa and cashew growing areas, school children were involved in other worst forms of child labour and were exposed to injuries due to lack of protective wear.
He added that these and other forms of child exploitation had assumed an alarming proportion in some parts of the region as many of the municipal and district assemblies had failed to set up panels to discuss issues affecting children.
Mr. Benarkuu used the opportunity to call for a national policy and programmes to ensure progress in the elimination of all forms of child labour as sexual exploitation of children was a serious human rights violation that gravely compromised the integrity, health and development of victims.
“There is no room for complacency when a large percentage of Ghana’s population, especially children, is still labouring to survive with many of them exposed to the worst forms of child labour,” he opined.
The CEO called on the government to urgently intervene and penalize those involved in child labour and prevent child labour.