10 April 2008

Liberia: UNMIL, Gol Intensify Prevention of Rape

Monrovia — As the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the government of Liberia intensify public information and outreach campaign to raise public awareness against rape and sexual exploitation, hundreds of Liberians have been captivated for the cause.

According to a four-page public information strategy papers developed by UNMIL information section indicates that the prevention of rape nationwide is in the right direction and needs the attention of Liberians.

The papers further explained that the exercise is a UN, Government accelerated response in which the government through the Ministry of information, Culture and Tourism and the Ministry of Gender will have a stake.

The papers further stated that late last year, the Security Council in its deliberation on Women, Peace and Security considered the issue of violence against women and children addressed a related presidential statement (S/PRST/2007/40 in which rape and other forms of offences were condemned.

In that regard the papers said the UN and the Government would collaborate on a focused anti-rape campaign similar to one undertaken in 2006/2007 in a targeted effort to create public awareness on the issue, especially for men.

The papers also focused on strategies that would be used to sensitize Liberians in a bid to exercise their franchise in a given rape case.

The rape campaign is expected to deter perpetrators especially men from refraining from rape and other forms of sexual and gender based violence by highlighting that such acts constitute a violation of basic human rights.

Meanwhile, the nationwide campaign is expected to kick off this Saturday in Voinjama, Lofa County with an array of UNMIL high-profile officials and some officials of government in attendance.

The local people as well as county officials and residents are also expected to participate in the campaign.

With the exception of Lofa County, the campaign has already taken place in few counties while seven other counties are yet to benefit from the campaign.

In a related development, the government of Liberia in collaboration with UNMIL and other interested parties will help motivate victims and their families to follow-up and present themselves for a case in the above crime to authorities concerned.

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