As part of PDA’s objective to advocate for the protection of children in Ghana, the organization has developed an online platform that tracks cases of child abuse published in the newspapers and prominent online portals. The platform monitors progress on abuse cases and advocates for further intervention where necessary. Launched in November 2017, the platform currently records about 122 child abuse cases ranging from defilement/sexual abuse and assault to child trafficking. Of the 122 cases reported, 79 are defilement/sexual abuse cases, 32 assault cases, and 11 child trafficking cases.
The regional statistics appear disturbing. Greater Accra, home of the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection along with other major institutions responsible for child protection, records the highest number of cases (55) of both physical and sexual abuse. The Western, Volta and Ashanti Regions follow, with 12 cases each. The Central Region records 11 cases, with Eastern, Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions recording 9, 5, 3, 2 and 1 case respectively.
The data similarly shows that out of the 79 reported cases of defilement/sexual abuse, 72 involve female victims. Twenty male victims are also reported to have suffered various physical abuses, while 7 females were likewise victims of child trafficking. The age range of the victims is between 1 and 17, with those between ages 11 and 15 being mostly victims of sexual abuse and physical assault. Nonetheless, there are some isolated cases where children between 1-3 years of age were subjected to sexual abuse and assault.
It is important to point out that most of the perpetrators lived in close proximity to their victims. As illustrated in the figure below, of the abuse cases reported, 67 were perpetrated by known persons residing within the community, 30 by parents or guardians of the victims and 12 by school authorities. These revealing statistics paint a grotesque picture of the situation. Research shows that the reported cases constitute only a small fraction of the real abuses children face.
Majority of the cases go unreported and the victims live with the posttraumatic experiences that accompany such abuses. Justice still remains a distant possibility even for the cases reported. PDA is currently undertaking follow-ups on some of the cases reported to further document the care and legal protection victims receive as well as whether or not justice has been served in these instances. The updates on these shall be shared at the knowledge sharing workshop later this year where the upcoming report on the State of Child Protection in Ghana will be launched.
Join PDA in its efforts to advocate for justice for these victims and for stronger child protection systems by visiting the Child Abuse Tracker to get updates on specific cases in order to inform advocacy.
Click here to download the full report (Graphs included).