The Program Director of the United Methodist Human Rights Monitor (UMHRM) Jefferson B. Knight says it's very saddening that Liberia continues to celebrate the Day of the African Child when the Government of Liberia has regrettably failed to address the plight of children in the country.
He said it is ironic for the government and people of Liberia to celebrate the day when they have failed to provide security and protection for the rights of children, including better healthcare, affordable and quality education for all Liberian children.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with this paper on June 16, 2022, Mr. Knight said government has failed to promote the dignity and welfare of children, as is being done in other countries, adding that massive violation of the rights of children is the order of the day under the current administration.
According to him, children in Liberia are adults before their time because they have to go and sell among cars within traffic to have money to support themselves and their parents.
He noted that the Weah administration and past administrations have failed to formulate concrete, substantive and tangible programs to promote the welfare of children, adding that issues of rape, alleged ritualistic killings and kidnap are still unaddressed by this government and their families are yet to get justice and redress, therefore, the country has no reason to join other countries to celebrate the day.
"What do we have to celebrate on this day, what do our children stand to benefit? Recently, a little body was allegedly killed by a police officer in Kakata and nothing is done, the late Princess Cooper, the raping of teenage across the country. The high increase of drugs in our country leading to the influx of disadvantaged youths; nothing is done. Government is more concerned about going after drug users, instead of importers. Corruption continues to eat the fabric of our society. With all these things, tell me do we have anything to join others to celebrate this day when our children's lives are not safe", he lamented.
Mr. Knight called on the Government of Liberia to prioritize the welfare of children across the country, including those living with physical disabilities by providing all of their social needs, protection and security.