By Gifty Amofa/Elizabeth Yaa Brobbey, GNA
13, GNA - Justice Dennis Adjei, Justice of the Appeals Court, has asked police
officers to help protect the rights of children, especially those that are
brought to them as having had a brush with the law.
He said the
police should guard them from abuse and serve as their mouth piece.
was addressing a training organised by the Legal Resource Centre (LRC) in Accra
and attended by about 60 police investigators and prosecutors from the Eastern,
Volta and Greater Accra regions.
It was dubbed:
“Justice for Children: Bridging the Gap between legislation and Practice,” and
sponsored by the European Union.
sought to sensitise the security personnel on their role in protecting the
rights and interests of children.
also the Dean of the GIMPA Law School, told the police that there were children
who would run to them for help, whom they should protect rather than turning
them away with one reason or another.
He said they
should not detain children with adult suspects or accused persons to prevent
them from being adulterated and hardened.
He said during
investigations the police should ensure that the legal process was fair to the
children in order not to punish them wrongly.
He urged the
police to explain the charge to children in the language they understood and
secure legal assistance for them, adding that though all these were enshrined
in the Constitution, it was different in practice and called on the officers to
personnel, Justice Adjei said, should make good use of the regional presidents
of the Ghana Bar Association by getting their mobile contacts for free legal
services to the children.
That was where
the importance of legal aid came into play as children, naturally, could not
afford a lawyer and they could be punished unnecessarily, particularly
regarding truancy, he said.
in this context are below 16, should be sent to a juvenile court for sentence
and detained at a juvenile correctional centre, he said.
Lariba Nabila, the Executive Director for LRC, said the Centre was a
non-governmental organisation committed to the realisation of human dignity by
building human rights capacities.
supports people whose rights have been violated and prevented others from being
violated, educates people on laws protecting children, identifies loopholes in
the law and forwards to the Attorney General for revision,” she said.
Superintendent of Police Armah Hanson, a participant, called on government to
provide the necessary facilities that would not make juveniles suffer unduly,
saying that personnel were doing their best with the limited resources.
included the Ghanaian Legal System; Providing Legal Aid Services,
Responsibilities of Agencies, and Implementations and Practical Considerations.