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Regional News Sun, 12 Jun 2005

Youth call for stiffer penalties for rapists

Awukugua (E/R), June 12, GNA - The youth of Awukugua in the Akuapem North District have called for stiffer punishment for rapists. They said if the courts impose stiffer sentences on rapists it would serve as a deterrent and would reduce the spate of rape in the country.

Making the call at a District Youth Mock Assembly held on Friday at Awukugua, the youth suggested that castration should be the best punishment that could bring the rate of rape and defilement cases down drastically. The mock assembly was organized by the African Youth Alliance (AYA) in collaboration of the National Youth Council to enable the youth to discuss issues affecting them and to present resolutions to assemblies for redress.

The youth said because sentences imposed on rapists were not harsh, some of those convicted of rape return from the prison to continue with their criminal acts. They said in the wake of the high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS, rape cases that had the tendency of infecting the victims should be treated with all the serious attention that they deserved.

Other topics treated at the mock assembly included parental care, unsafe abortion, teenage pregnancy and the upsurge in youth employment. The youth appealed to the district assembly to critically look into the issues raised and address them appropriately. Papa Adjei Kyeremeh, the Eastern Regional Youth Co-ordinator, said since policy decisions were taken at the district assemblies in line with decentralization, mock assemblies were introduced to lobby the district assemblies by the youth on issues affecting them. He said AYA sponsored the mock assembly in some districts as a pilot project and appealed to policy makers and stakeholders in the district to set aside funds to sustain the project.

The Akuapem North District Youth Co-ordinator, Mr George Ankoh, said the AYA Project also included other activities that kept the youth busy and focused and appealed to the assembly to include it in its budget to sustain the program. 12 June 05

Source: GNA