In a fervent plea to the government, Members of Parliament (MPs) have urged government to take immediate action in abolishing the existence of witch camps in the country, asserting that their operations in the country are distasteful, morally unacceptable and an infringement on the rights of the affected victims.
The MPs made this call in observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), an international initiative established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011 to shed light on the mistreatment and neglect experienced by older individuals. The observance of WEAAD serves as a platform to raise awareness and foster a deeper understanding of the significance of preventing elder abuse, while emphasizing the crucial need to support the rights and well-being of older people.
During a session on Thursday, the MPs passionately voiced their concerns on the floor of the House, after Madam Abla Dzifa Gomashie, the MP for Ketu South Constituency., in delivering her statement, drew the attention of the House to this year’s celebration of WEAAD.
Futher, the Ketu South legislator emphasized the need for comprehensive policies and dedicated attention to be directed towards the elderly members of society, who have diligently contributed to the nation’s progress over the course of their lives.
Mr Smauel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the MP for North Tongu Constituency, added, “Such facilities deprive women of their rights to develop fully and freely, which results in depriving their children of education, good health, and proper sanitation. He argued for a Bill to be passed towards the abolishment of such camps as it is an embarrassment that needs not to be entertained, particularly when it was a clear discrimination against poor aged women in society.
In addition, MP for Asunafo South, Mr. Eric Opoku expressed his view on the matter, opining, “Successive leaders have spoken repeatedly about their commitments to get these women re-integrated to disband the camps, but sadly, it’s been a lot of talks. It’s about time leadership walked the talk. Where in Europe or America can you find this.”
To this end, the MPs collectively appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection to use the day to give aged women of Ghana “a priceless gift” by disbanding existing witchcamps, and providing roadmap to re-integrate the affected victims into the society.