Has Liberia's Rape Law Reforms Been Upended By Politics?

More than three months ago, President George Weah declared rape a national emergency at a keynote conference, vowing to improve support for rape survivors and strengthen the country's prosecution system. The declaration came amid several attacks that sparked public outrage and led to a three-day protest in the capital, Monrovia, by a collective of mainly youth-led groups demanding goverment action against the spike in sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). President Weah's ambitious-sounding promises were quickly drowned out by the din of campaigning in the run-up to the Senate elections. An election where SGBV hardly featured. The appointment of a special prosecutor for rape, the creation of a national sex offenders registry, and the establishment of a national security task force on SGBV are all now stalled initiatives, writes Lucinda Rouse for The New Humanitarian.

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