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Monday, July 15, 2024
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CPA warns politicians against using children as tools during campaign

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By Alagie Manneh

As another election period starts the Child Protection Alliance (CPA) has warned against the mobilisation of children for campaign and other election activities.

In statement yesterday CPA said: “candidates and political parties must respect the rights of children and desist from any form of violation of their rights during campaign activities.”

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The CPA said there are ample evidences and documented proof of the involvement of children in campaign activities in past elections notably, the 2021 presidential elections.

“These exploitations include overloading vehicles with children, making them carry or distribute campaign materials, endlessly beating drums for people to dance. Election campaign affects children both directly and indirectly and they must not be used as tools in the name of getting them to learn their civic rights. A child is not a tool or a decoration, and most importantly, not someone’s property. A child is an independent citizen entitled to rights that must be be respected,” the statement said.

The CPA said it is the obligation of candidates and political parties to respect the rights of children and protect them from any form of abuse or exploitation.

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The CPA also challenged the IEC to join the crusade to protect children from being used by politicians by including child political exploitation as a violation of the electoral laws.

“Security agents must also be on the alert to provide protection for children during campaign activities. Finally, we want to remind the government through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare of its duty as enshrined in Article 66(a/b) of the Children’s Act 2005; towards the safeguarding, protection and promotion of the welfare of children and to ensure that Local Government Authorities and other government agencies laisse with one another in matters concerning children. The government has no excuse in fulfilling its commitment to children especially this campaign period.”  

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