The Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service in Tamale say they are overwhelmed by the child labour issues in the metropolis. DOVVSU likens the child labour issue in Tamale to the disregard of road safety regulations by motorists which the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) are confronting with and that DOVVSU is helpless in dealing with child labour.
DOVVSU say what is happening in the streets of Tamale is not different from child labour which needs a holistic approach by parents, chiefs, opinion leaders and civil society organizations.
The Tamale metropolitan unit of the DOVVSU says it receives an average of 20 cases weekly of child neglect.
Giving the state of child labour in Tamale, Chief Inspector Adombire said children are the most vulnerable in the society and issues concerning children in the region should be taken very seriously. He said even though child labour is everywhere, it is terrible in Tamale.
Addressing journalists of Social Mobilization Partners against Child Labour (SOMOPAC) in Tamale, the metropolitan coordinator of DOVVSU Chief Inspect Lawrence Adombire said the most worrying phenomenon is fostering of children which is referred to in Dagbani as ‘Piriba bia’ .
The Tamale DOVVSU unit which was created about 15 years has no rescue center where victims can stay while investigations go on.
The Tamale unit coordinator expressed concerns over interference by chiefs, opinion leaders and some politicians anytime police want to prosecute parents who expose their children to dangers and abuse.
Article 560(1) of 1998 states explicitly clear who a child is. That is, a person below 18 years of age, who the child should grow up with. This implies the parents and their duties.
These constitutional provisions according to police are however disregarded by some parents with impunity. Chief Inspector Adombire said the police are concerned about the welfare of children but they are constraint with logistics to deal with the problem. Pouring his frustration on the violation of the rights children, Chief Inspector Adombire bemoaned how cases are settled at the chiefs’ palaces rendering the police investigations being suspended indefinitely.