Bright Appiah — Executive Director of Child Rights International
Bright Appiah — Executive Director of Child Rights International

Abolish traditions harmful to children - CRI advocates

The Executive Director of Child Rights International (CRI), Bright Appiah, has called for a complete abandonment of traditions and customs that endanger the lives of children.


He said no matter how effective and mandatory traditional and customary rites were, their practice should not in any way disadvantage children nor cast a snare on their well-being.

In a statement issued and signed in Accra yesterday, Mr Appiah said no traditional practices should expose children to any form of physical and psychological abuse. CRI's statement was in reaction to the trending story of the supposed customary marriage between Gborbu Wulomo, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII, and a young girl named Naa Okromo.

The Wulomo is said to be 63 years old, while Naa Okromo is 12 years old. The ceremony, which is trending on various social media platforms, has attracted varied responses with the majority of Ghanaians kicking against the union.

Some Ghanaians are also calling for child-centred organisations in the country and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to intervene.


On the matter, Mr Appiah said CRI was carrying out its investigation and would soon come out with a detailed statement on the Nungua event. "If there is a marriage, it should be dissolved else Child Right would come in to protect the child," he said.

Regarding the issue, Mr Appiah said the child "is a minor and irrespective of the rites performed, the law would not allow a person below the age of 18 to be involved in such marriage rites be it for the stool or the priest involved".

"When you listen to the explanation from the traditional council about the issue, there seems to be too many inconsistencies which makes it difficult to establish the exact principles of the traditional rite," he said. 

Child's image

Additionally, Mr Appiah called on the media to abort the spread of the child's image on the various social media platforms to preserve the privacy of the innocent child.

Circulating the picture of the child, he said, would in no way be of any benefit to her, rather it would expose her negatively and affect her social interaction with her peers. Touching more on traditions, Mr Appiah said it would be needful for institutions to recognise the impact their tradition or customary practices could have on children.

He also explained that although tradition had existed for decades and been regulated for years, traditional practices must operate under the established law of the land. "Irrespective of the tribe and ethnic group beliefs, traditional practices must not hurt minors," Mr Appiah added.

CRI's research

Over the years, Mr Appiah said, CRI had conducted some research that had centred on the child and early marriages. " We realised that child and early marriage is as a result of the following; not as a union between two people who love each other but fulfilment of a cultural practice; as result of single parenting and divorce," he said.

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