The Executive Director of Child Rights International (CRI), Bright Appiah, has admonished the Immigration Service to be very sensitive to activities pertaining to the movement of children along the borders into the country.
Speaking about the increasing rate of child beggars across the country, Bright Appiah urged the Service to ensure it proposes solutions on how this activity can be stopped. This, he insinuated, if not checked can result in issues of child trafficking.
The CRI Executive Director further lamented about how the authorities at the borders are not able to identify these children being brought in to be involved in this activity. He, however, alleged that some officers can be involved and insinuated that it is a trade intentionally done to gain some kind of economic support.
“And if there are people within that Service that also engage in sharing of the profit of these kind of activities, then we need to also call them to order so that we don’t experience that again.”Bright Appiah
Mr. Appiah averred that the activity of street begging is damaging to the nation’s hard earned reputation and what the country has done in terms of its welfare. As such, he noted that some kind of measures should be put in place to curb the growing activity of begging.
“The whole constitution of Ghana is built on welfare and so, we cannot derail the reputation we have built at the global level. There is the need for us to also take action so that our reputation will be protected.”Bright Appiah
The CRI Executive Director revealed that at the global level, opportunities were given to countries to raise objectives about how it wanted to deal with these children “because they are young. You cannot have a child at any point in time not having a state.” However, he noted that since Ghana decided to admit these foreigners, it means Ghana has accepted in whole, to help protect the welfare of these children.
Bright Appiah explained that once these children are in the country, the state has to provide for them, especially their medical care and protection within the social safety nets. He stated that with the issue of the foreigners involvement, diplomatic actions can be taken in that regard to ensure they are moved back or any other action decided.
CRI to seek legal redress
Bright Appiah intimated that CRI is hoping to seek legal redress to bring more attention to the issue of increased child beggars in the country. He explained that his outfit is not only looking at it as an issue of the safety of children, but because it poses a national security threat to the society looking at its investigations done on it so far.
According to Mr. Appiah, they have been notified of the fact that these children get on the street and when they get to a particular age, they vanish from the streets and their whereabouts cannot be traced. He added that CRI has thought of this activity as one that is becoming an established kind of trade people are engaged in hence, its expectation that the court will give meaning to some of these things.
“If these children cannot be found again and we don’t know if they are being used for ritual purposes or any kind of activity that poses a threat to the country, then more or less, we are breeding a class of people that have the potential to cause harm to the security of this country.”Bright Appiah
Bright Appiah stated that aside the foreigners who engage in begging, there are citizens who also use their children to beg on the streets. “We are influenced by some of these things to go to court.”