Madam Daphne Lariba Nabila, Executive Director of the Legal Resource Center, (LRC) has emphasised that the 1992 Constitution supersedes all customary laws in Ghana.
She condemned some traditional practices which put the lives of people, especially, children in danger, stressing that perpetrators of such uncivilized and outmoded customary laws breached the constitution.
Highlighting on the Ghanaian legal system at a day’s workshop on reducing child, early and forced marriages in Ghana, in Kumasi on Monday, Madam Nabila mentioned Female Genital Mutilation and forced marriages as some customary practices that violated the constitution.
The workshop was organised by the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) with funding from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFAID), through the Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF).
Attended by more than 70 Journalists and media practitioners drawn from the Brong-Ahafo and Ashanti regions, the workshop was aimed at sensitizing participants on the gravity of forced and early marriages to enable them to give greater publicity and public education towards reducing the phenomenon.
Madam Nabila reiterated that the breach of the 1992 constitution was a serious offence and appealed to the media to collaborate effectively in helping to identify areas that forced and early marriages were being practiced.
Reverend Father Patrick Osei-Poku, a representative from the Justice and Peace Commission at the Catholic Secretariat, Kumasi Archdiocese, noted that many parents were ignorant of child-right Acts and Conventions.
This, he said, was the reason why some parents continued to encourage and force their children into outmoded traditional practices that ruined their future.
Mr Gerald Ankrah, Executive Director, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) noted that many journalists and media practitioners were not conversant with various laws and legislation.
He said the media therefore ought to take the responsibility to get journalists abreast with existing legislation and educate the general public on those laws.
Mrs Charllotte Osei, Chairperson of the NCCE observed that the media was a powerful tool and stressed the importance to strengthen the media to enable it to develop interest in issues of forced marriages and other child right abuses.