Hon. Member, you should be landing.
Hajia Mahama: Mr. Speaker,
Mr. Kenneth Dzirasah (NDC --
South Tongu): Mr. Speaker, I intend to be very brief, and I would like to focus on the issue of rehabilitation and the necessity for the creation of a fund along the lines of the Trafficking Act Fund. Also, I have noticed that hon. Dr. Richard Anane is proposing an amendment to the Insurance Bill, to create a fund under which emergency accident victims could be attended to. That is a good thing to do and I commend him highly for it.
The spirit that cuts across all these Bills should be the same because of the nature of the end beneficiary. Mr. Speaker, when the advocates of the Domestic Violence Bill appeared before the Committee, they raised the issue of the necessity to arrange or to organize some kind of funding.
At that stage, I was under the impression that so long as all the activities that relate to the implementation of this Bill would be a charge on the Consolidated Fund, I did not see the significance of it. But further consultations and discussions have enabled and emboldened me to stand before you, to urge this House to favourably consider the need to establish a fund under this Bill.
Mr. Speaker, by its very nature, the implementation of this Bill, when it is passed, would cut across sectors; in other words, it is multi-sectoral. In fact, the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs has a role to play; the Attorney-General's Department has a role to play; the Ministry responsible for social welfare has a role to play; and then we have the Ministries of the Interior and Health, and the Judiciary.
Mr. Speaker, generally, when a Bill is passed and there is financial provision or appropriation directly under the Bill, the implementation of that Act tends to be subsumed under various institutions. For instance, it is anticipated that the portion that should be taken care of by the police would have to reflect in the budget for Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) -- Domestic Violence Unit of the Police Service.
Mr. Speaker, there are competing
interests in every department of State -- Ministries for that matter. So the implementation would virtually stand out, if I may use the word loosely, as of a situation where a child has been born and he does not have parents. Why do I say this? If the budget for Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs comes up for appropriation, the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice's budget, the social welfare budget, since it is a new introduction, its ability to participate in the fortunes of these departments may be retarded because they may not have anybody to speak for them.
It is for this reason that I strong urge that we establish this fund so that the vulnerables, that is the young ones, the destitutes and those who fall victim to domestic violence can be protected or compensated financially.
Mr. Speaker, there is a proposal for training of the Judiciary staff, and if it is not captured under any other heading but under the Judiciary, you can imagine what type of training they would give the staff in respect of the domestic violence; it may virtually be nothing. I do suspect that even under the Police Service, it may not happen; similarly for the Social Welfare and for that matter the Attorney-General's
within society will be sustained even after its passage. I do not take the fact that because people -- women, children and men -- have not filled the Gallery means that they are not interested. I know the interest is on and I believe that when the Bill is passed we will have congratulatory messages in our pidgeonholes because we have all received, as my hon. Colleague said, people who had signed to urge us on to pass this Bill.
This Bill, I believe, will also represent the voiceless in our society because we are all of one conviction that this Bill is not for women, neither is it for men alone. It is for the whole society including children and even the aged; because there are people who when they are charged even to take care of the sick and the aged maltreat them. They slap them, they do not clean them up well, they do not give them food to eat and I believe this Bill will go a long way to forestall any of such happenings.
I thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I believe everybody wants to contribute, so I will end with these few comments.