Stakeholders at a community durbar held at Sheaga in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region have identified illegal mining activities in the area as a major cause of child marriages in the District.
The stakeholders, who also attributed the phenomenon to the irresponsible attitude of some parents, stated that in many instances girls who became pregnant were forcefully given out by their parents for early marriage.
The programme, organized by the Network of Youth Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), with funding support from Curious Minds, attracted community members, including women and youth groups, community leaders and opinion leaders.
Parents were advised to cater to the basic needs of their daughters, particularly by providing them with menstruation pads and books and to ensure that they overcome the tendency of falling prey to the menace of child marriage.
Mr Godwin Adaa, a nurse at the Namolgo Health Centre, entreated the community leaders to liaise up with the District Assembly to enact bye-laws to punish parents who give out their daughters for early marriage to serve as a deterrent to others.
Mr Adda said the best legacy parents could bequeath to their children was to see to it that they completed their education. He said it had been proven that girls who were taken good care of to complete their education, took good care of their parents better than boys.
Mr Hillary Adongo, the Convenor of the Network, said the Network of Youth CSOs in the region is made up of organizations, including Restorative Seed Society, Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), and Presbyterian Health Development Services.
Mr Adongo commended Curious Minds for the funding support for the CSOs to undertake advocacy activities to help end the child marriage and teenage pregnancies and related challenges confronting the youth.
He appealed to other corporate bodies to support the CSOs upscale the advocacy programme across the region.
The durbar, which attracted some staff of the National Commission for Civic Education, Department of Community Development and Social Welfare and some health workers, also called on stakeholders to rally behind the campaign to help end child marriage.