Laws Protecting Children Ineffective

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The 2015 International Children’s Peace Prize Winner, Abraham M. Keita, says the Liberian Children’ Law, which was passed by the Legislature in 2011 and signed into law by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2012 is the most ineffective, weak and dormant law among legislations in the history of Liberia.

Mr. Keita, Executive Director for Giving Hope to Children Foundation (GIHOCF) made the disclosure recently in Monrovia.

He stressed that the ministries and agencies responsible for implementing requirements in Children’s law have turned a blind eye to children’s issues, thereby creating serious problems for children.

“Over the last few years, children are raped and forced to become laborers. Children have suffered from these wicked people and intentionally killed by individuals to accompany their ritualistic purposes or personal reasons. The rape and children’s laws do nothing to give justice to them,” Mr. Keita said.

He said Article 3, Section 16.3 of the Children’s Law mandates the Ministry of Education (MOE) to develop a curriculum for teaching children’s rights in high schools and universities in Liberia but it is yet to be realized.

Keita also pointed to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, which is mandated by the same law to establish the National Child Rights Council and the Child Advancement Fund, to coordinate and fund local organizations working for children, which has not been done.

Pointing to victims of such circumstances, Keita named Angel Togba, Shaki Kamara, Ma-Musu Fofana and Victoria Zayzay (all deceased), whose families continue to cry for justice.

He called on the Ministry of Labour (MOL) to be robust in dealing with children who are selling in the streets, as there has been a drastic increase in their number, which he said, “is hampering the future of our country, Liberia.”

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