Mr Gregory Andrews, Australian High Commissioner to Ghana has expressed deep concerns about the mistreatment of elderly women in the country in the name of witchcraft, saying such acts are inhumane and not Ghanaian.
He said “I do not believe there are witches, and if others believe, what I want is that they should not abuse them” calling on communities to respect the rights of elderly women in society.
Mr Andrews expressed the concerns when he interacted with alleged witches at the Gnani Witches Camp in the Yendi Municipality of the Northern Region on Thursday.
His visit to the camp was facilitated by ActionAid Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, which was working to reintegrate alleged witches in their communities.
The High Commissioner’s visit to the camp was to show love to the inmates and learn about their challenges and what he could do to address them.
The camp currently has a population of 145 women and 89 men including; their children.
The inmates raised challenges of lack of accommodation, poor health care and feeding.
Mr Andrews said Australia and Ghana, as members of the United Nations, were opposed to abuse of elderly women, adding both countries had a responsibility to protect the human rights of women.
He talked about the recent killing of a 90 year-old woman at Kafaba in the East Gonja Municipality of the Savannah Region saying “Let us all work together to show love to elderly women.”
Mr Andrews, in a response to an appeal for support by one of the inmates, said the Australian High Commission had a small aid programme, adding that he would talk to his team to see how best the inmates could benefit from it.
Madam Nlangni Jato, one of the inmates at the camp, thanked the High Commissioner for visiting the camp and appealed to him to help address their challenges.