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GJA calls for investigations into Kumbungu SHS student rape allegations


The Northern Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Caesar Abagali has expressed his disappointment at human and child rights activists in the country for not speaking up on the alleged rape of a Kumbungu Senior High School girl.

The victim, an 18-year-old second year student of the Kumbungu Senior High School, who was 17 at the time of the alleged rape, was dismissed for accusing the assistant headmaster in charge of academics, Chief Musah Seidu of raping her. She reportedly told authorities the rape took place in Seidu’s bungalow on Dec. 2014

Abagali who was speaking at a Child’s Protection Reporting Workshop in Tamale organized by the Child Rights International for some selected journalists in the northern region, appealed to various media organizations to devote more time to reporting children’s issues since they are the most vulnerable in society. An apparently miffed Mr. Abagali said he was outraged at the silence of human rights advocates on the alleged rape, despite the media breaking the story a while ago.

He also called on the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service to immediately investigate the matter to unearth the truth. The workshop was convened to sensitize journalists on the ethical practice and the professionalism needed to report on children’s issues.

Even though a committee has been set up by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to look into the alleged rape and with the Gender ministry also investigating the matter, Mr Abagali said all stakeholders, including the media, must step up their efforts to ensure that the perpetrator is punished, if found guilty.

Children are people who cannot take decisions for themselves or protect themselves,  Mr Abagali observed. He therefore urged reporters to devote more attention to children than to politicians.

“Journalists must use their pens to make sure that children’s issues are highlighted in order that, as a society we protect the children,” Mr Abagali added.

He also appealed to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to liaise with the GJA to build journalists’ capacity on children’s rights and on how to report negative issues affecting them.


Mr Kafembe Innocent

The Communication Officer of UNICEF, Mr Kafembe Innocent said UNICEF remained committed in working with journalists in Ghana and in Tamale in the northern region, in particular, to ensure that the rights  and dignity of children are protected.

According to Mr Kafembe, protection of children should be everyone’s responsibility especially journalists, because once journalists report it, the message trickles down to many Ghanaians who go on to be ambassadors of child protection.

He however urged journalists to be circumspect in reporting sexual abuse, child exploitation and child soldiers in war-torn countries because it’s a very sensitive subject. timage

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