Child Rights Int. calls for action over Echoing Hills abuse

Mr. Bright Appiah, Executive Director of Child Rights International

Child Rights International (CRI), a child-centered organisation, has called on the state to move in and arrest of staff and management of Echoing Hills Village – a non-governmental organisation at Madina – who were seen in a video subjecting residents to various forms of abuses.

CRI also urged the state to step in and appoint new management to take over daily operations at the orphanage to protect the children.

A statement signed by its Executive Director, Mr. Bright Appiah, said it is becoming a growing trend whereby organisations and institutions meant to provide a safety-net for children rather tend to subject them to inhuman treatment and abuse.

“This new expose from Anas Aremayaw Anas on the plight of the children at Echoing Hills Village must not be swept under the carpet. The state must rise up and deal with the issue drastically,” the statement said.

The statement follows the release of excerpts from Investigative Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ yet-to-be released new documentary, which captures a ‘man of God’ who runs an orphanage torturing and threatening the lives of the orphans under his care at Echoing Hills Village.

Dubbed ‘Torture Home: When a man of God abuses children’, the documentary reveals how residents of the orphanage located at Madina live under inhumane conditions, with caretakers physically abusing some of the orphans.

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The documentary also reveals how Rev. Lawrence Lamina, Manager of the orphanage, sells donated items meant for upkeep of the home.

The statement explained that it is paramount for the state to put in place measures to protect children from the actions of evil people, indicating that “it forms part of the children’s rights”.

CRI said the organisation was shocked when it saw portions of the video, and could not understand why any human would subject children to such “inhuman conditions”.

“Failure on the part of the state to respond quickly to the needs of these children is a denial of their fundamental human rights,” it said.

On the video, CRI said there is need for the state to bring the perpetrators to book – adding that anyone found violating the rights of children must be brought to book immediately.

“The core of our social protection system is to defend the vulnerable and protect their integrity against any other interest. This has to be on the top priority of the state,” the statement said.

CRI said the video from Echoing Hills Village orphanage should sound a wake-up call for the state institution responsible for the safety of children to embark on a tour of orphanage homes.

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It said the nation must not wait for another such video to be aired, since there could well be more children being ill-treated in various locations of the country.

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