The Inquirer (Monrovia)

10 December 2012

Liberia: Gov't, UNICEF Celebrate 'Rights of Child'

UNICEF- Liberia and hundreds of Liberian Children celebrated the Rights of the African Child over the weekend in Monrovia at the Monrovia City Hall.Making remarks at the program, Education Minister Etmonia Tarpeh said the Education Ministry has put into place several mechanisms that will take children off the streets and provide them basic education to make them future leaders.

Minister Tarpeh also said parents need to play their role in helping Government as they tackle what she calls the ills in the Liberian educational sector that is seriously having negative impacts on the children.

She mentioned "Supper Friday" amongst other things that are impeding the education in Liberia and said that something needs to be done to curtail these ills before it gets late.

Following Minister Tarpeh, Justice Minister Christiana Tah said the security of the children is also a paramount concern of the Government and that something needs to be done expeditiously to address it before it escalates.

Minister Tah also said that the problem of abuses have been alarming, starting with child rape, child slavery of various sources, domestic and external, child trafficking and other minor violence have certainly been worrisome and need urgent attention.

She said the Justice Ministry has been working over times to curtail these ills in the Liberian society which she believes is gradually damaging the future generation of Liberia.

For her part, Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassel lauded UNICEF and other partners for supporting the Liberian children and the Government of Liberia for all its supports thus far for some years.

She thanked the Liberian children for their efforts of support thus far and the Speaker of the Liberian Parliament, Fortina Gongba for the level of support and cooperation given to them over the time which has seen many developments undertaken and congratulated President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for her efforts in supporting the Liberian children pass the Children's Law.

Delivering his key message the Speaker of the Liberian Children Parliament Fostina Gongba spoke about those abuses which children worldwide are faced with which Liberia is no exception.

Speaker Gongba said for the children of Liberia to meet these goals and be on par with other countries, Government needs to pay key attention and keep the fight against major areas such as child rape, child labor, and trafficking of children and malnutrition.

For her part, UNICEF Country Representative Isabel Crowley extended thanks and appreciations to the Government and children of Liberia for constructively engaging stakeholders who are possible contributors in the fight against these abuses which have become major challenges worldwide.

In her message, UNICEF Country Rep. Crowley said Liberia defended its CRC reports at the 61st Session of the Child Rights Committee in Geneva in September this year which the Government of Liberia was represented by a high level delegation including Gender Minister Julia Duncan-Cassel, Justice Christiana Tah, Education Minister Etmonia Tarpeh and Deputy Health and Social Welfare Minister, Vivian Cherue.

The program was attended by the Executive Director of Touching Humanity In Needs of Kindness-THINK E-Inc., UNICEF members, hundreds of the Liberian children and media practitioners.

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