Saturday, May 26, 2007
ENFORCE BAN ON TROKOSI -NGO
From: STEPHEN K. EFFAH, Adidome.
Reverend Walter Pimpong, Executive Director of International Needs Ghana, has raised concern about the increasing practice of trokosi in the Volta Region and called for strict enforcement of laws banning such practice in the country.
He observed that enforcement of the Criminal Code of 1998 has not been encouraging as far as trokosi practice is concerned, thus giving a leeway for fetish priests to continue with the practice.
Trokosi is a traditional practice of slavery where young girls are given to village fetish shrine priests as sexual or domestic slaves in atonement for offences allegedly committed by a member of the family.
Rev. Pimpong made the call at the inauguration of a five-room modern furnished Guest House at the International Needs Vocational Training Centre here at the weekend.
The guest house, which is open to the public, is to serve both local and foreign partners of the organization who visit the training centre and its other projects in the area.
Rev. Pimpong said, “it’s a shame that we have not been able to implement the laws on trokosi in the country”, adding that the practice has nothing to do with culture and religion as claimed by some people.
For development to advance he said, “We should do away with such trokosi practice which will not help us”.
He noted that the practice is currently common in the North and South Tongu Districts adding that there are some faith organizations and strong traditionalists advocating and promoting the trokosi practice in these areas.
He pointed out that some of the reasons for taking the young women to the shrines are so trivial, adding, some are taken there because a member of the family has stolen something, committed adultery or murder.
He said some begin their life as slaves in the various shrines scattered in the villages in pre-adolescence, with some as young as five years, noting that some live there for life.
He indicated that the victims of such criminal practice are deprived of education, have no control over their reproductive right, are not paid for their service and have limited freedom.
Rev. Pimpong pointed out that there are some young women who are now begging in market places to raise money to be able to be a trokosi on their own volition.
He urged all to do their best to help stop the practice.
The Ghanaian Times - Saturday, May 26, 2007 Page: 19