BY: News Desk| Voltaonlinegh.com |
The Executive Director of Child Rights International (CRI), Mr Bright Appiah, has called on politicians to avoid using children as their campaign tool in securing votes from the electorate.
According to him, campaigns for votes ought to be done in a civil manner devoid of any tactics that could make the vulnerable groups more vulnerable so it would be very irresponsible and demeaning for any political party to involve children in their campaign activities.
“Political parties must always act in the best interest of children and act more responsibly in order to lay a better foundation for children to appreciate the electoral processes of Ghana and uphold it tenets,” he added.
In a statement issued by CRI and signed by him, Mr Appiah said that although some people may argue that lots of policies are designed for children and that using them would amount to no abuse, “it is not right”.
“The fact that policies are made for children does not mean they should be used as vehicles to win votes.”
Explaining further, he said the essence of child participation is for children to have a full understanding of the course and act with better appreciation of the content.
He noted that most cases, children are coerced or staged for adverts for political purposes even though politicians “are fully aware that in our electoral design, children do not have the right to vote, [and are], therefore, not needed in the process.”
Mr. Appiah said it was an obligation for every government or political party to include in its manifesto the designed policies for children should the party get elected.
“That does not mean political parties can use children as their campaign tool to attract votes from the electorate,” he said.
Mr. Appiah said there had been times in the past where politicians had abused the rights of children by using them to campaign.
“We have seen this on television and campaign platforms, where children were made to come and attest to how good or bad a certain policy from a political party is. This is not right at all,” he said.
He however stated that, most of these campaigns using children to attract votes were done at the blind side of some parents.
“Most parents, especially the deprived ones, do not know and understand the implications of allowing their children to be used by political parties in campaigning so they allow it to happen,” he said.
Apart from the stigma attached to campaigning for a political party, Mr Appiah said children might be exposed to needless danger by politicians from the opposing side.
He therefore, urged parents to refrain from giving their children to politicians as their campaign tool.