OUR cover story today about child prostitution gaining notoriety in Cape Coast in the Central Region is very worrying to say the least.
WE see it as worrying because of the report that the illegal trade was catching on well with teenage girls.
ACCORDING to the Cape Coast Metropolitan Director of Social Welfare, Mr. Daniel Wallace Acheampong, who was briefing the media in Cape Coast, about 10% of teenage girls living along the coastal communities in the region were involved in prostitution.
SOME of these communities, he mentioned, are Ntsin, Gyagyano, Kwaprow, Amanful, Brofoyedur and Gyagyamu.
THIS rather disturbing development, the Cape Coast metropolitan director of social welfare said, was attributable to poverty.
INDEED, he goes on to affirm that the situation was fast contributing to teenage pregnancy in the area.
IN fact Today is not surprised that teenage pregnancy, another social canker, is on the rise in the region.
THE last time we heard was that Central Region was the leading region in respect of teenage pregnancy cases in this country.
THE funny side of all this is that there are parents who see nothing wrong with what their young girls are involved in, especially against the backdrop that they are profiting from such illegal trade.
HOWEVER, Today is happy with steps taken so far by the Cape Coast Social Welfare towards curbing the child prostitution canker.
ONE of such measures which appears to be working for the social welfare outfit is educating these young ones through various clubs in the communities on the dangers of their actions.
THESE young ones need to be told in plain language that the consequences of their actions can damage them permanently.
IT is in the light of the above that we are recommending that the social welfare takes on parents who are shirking their parental responsibilities and instead putting these innocent ones at risk by encouraging them into child prostitution.
THE point is that these things continue to gain roots in our society because we see institutions like the social welfare only as a settlement of family and other social issues.
BUT, we believe when social welfare puts its foot down and asserts authority, parents in particular, will sit up and live up to their responsibilities.
FURTHERMORE, we would also like to urge the chiefs and opinion leaders to help in stopping this canker.
WE all have a role to play in ensuring that our societies are molded and shaped to become the best that we all yearn for.