Liberia’s Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), Julia Duncan-Cassell condemned the unorthodox act of parents using their children as breadwinners and street peddlers.
Madam Duncan-Cassell made the assertion on Saturday when the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) and its partners concluded the celebrations of the 16 Days of Activism in Buchannan, Grand Bassa County.
The year’s celebrations was held under the themes; ““For Peace in the Home to Peace in the World make education safe for all” as a global theme and “For Peace in the Home to Peace in the World, Stop Domestic Violence, End Child Marriage, banned FGM and allow the Boys and Girls to go to School,” as local theme.
Madam Duncan-Cassell maintained that such an inhumane attitude is a gross violation of the children’s rights.She at the time warned against encouraging the use and involvement of children into unacceptable acts which according to her have the propensity of derailing the future of that child.
The Gender Boss however indicated that it is the responsibility of every Liberian to ensure that the right of every child is protected regardless of tribal affiliation. “Women and Children’s rights are Human Right that is needed to be protected.” She added.
She said the 16 days of activism also focus on the launch of the “End Child Marriage Campaign” as well as ending violence against children through the launch of a ‘116’ Hotline for Children urging every Liberian to help to create a healthy space for all.
She said: “We have come again to ask our media colleagues, our guests and the public to help us strengthen this campaign with the communities, the churches, the mosques, the schools, the traditional leaders and stakeholders to end Sexual and Gender-Based Violence to avert another woman, man, girl, boy and child from being abused, raped, sodomized and deprived to live as the result of sexual gender- based violence”.
She than called on the Legislators to see reason of passing into Law the Domestic Violence Act, adding that the Act, if is not passed, women and children are going to be abuse every day.
She argued that the Laws need to be passed in a timely manner.
She said as much as the rights of journalists need to be protected, they should ensure that the people who they are writing about rights need to also be protected.
She pointed that out to date: “It is saddened to note that the GBV statistics still shows a relatively low upward trend as we continue the fight against this social menace”. She said from, January-August, 2016 a total of 931 GBV cases were reported, of which 610 were rape cases compared to January-September -2015 where a total of 1,088 GBV cases were reported nationwide of which 588 were rape cases”.
She furthered - between January–December 2014, at the peak of the Ebola epidemic, which was a regional health crisis, women and children were still violated; a total of 1,392 GBV cases were reported, of which rape accounted for 682 cases.
In 2013, she indicated that a total of 2,159 GBV cases were reported of the total, 1,215 were rape while 2,495 were reported in 2012; rape accounted for 1, 501 cases and 2,383 reported in 2011, with 1,476 rape cases. Speaking further, Minister Cassell, assured participants that there is relatively a reduction in cases reported.
Liberia’s Gender Minister said she will work with the Ministry of Justice and the court for the speedy trial of those in custody as they work together to bring the perpetrators at-large to justice.
The event will be celebrated throughout the fifteen Counties in series of awareness and sensitization activities, under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
She however thanked UNMIL and other partners, as well as other ministries and agencies for the support, Concern Worldwide, LRRRC, Medical Mondale for their role played in the observance of the activities.
It can recall on Wednesday, November 23, 2016, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf officially launched the 16 Days of activism against Sexual and Gender-based Violence.
The 16 Days activity was launched at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection on Capitol Bye-Pass in Monrovia.
At the program the Liberian leader urged the participants to take practical steps in helping the Ministry achieve its awareness campaign.
She urged the gathering to join the fight in practical ways in their homes, schools, communities, and associations to stop violence against girls and women and called on parents to protect their children against violence.