LIBERIA: Gender Ministry Vows Speedy Prosecution Of SGBV Cases

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection says it remains unwavering in ensuring the prosecution of perpetrators of sexual assault and other forms of violence against women and children.

The Ministry in a press release said it condemns the inhumane act, and made reference to recent reports of sexual assault of an eight-year-old girl by a Lebanese national, physical abuse of a 12-year-old boy in Bong County as well as sexual assault of a 32-year-old woman at the Royal Grand Hotel by a Lebanese national.

The release noted that ministry’s attention has also been drawn to the fact that sexual molestation and abuse remain condemnable and appalling.

“Acts perpetrated by the accused threaten the victims’ reproductive potential and lower their human dignity, something to which we take serious exception,” the Ministry pointed out.

It said while it applauds authorities at the Liberia National Police for preliminary investigation into the matters and subsequent court proceedings, it would work closely with the families of the victim to ensure justice.

The release quotes the Ministry as vowing to name and shame perpetrators, adding that it will partner with community-based groups, civil society, local and international NGOs in heightening awareness and sensitization about Gender-Based Violence, rape, and sexual exploitation and abuse across the country.

On December 9, 2015 the Ministry in collaboration with the United Nations and supporting partners, launched an awareness and sensitization campaign on sexual exploitation and abuse as part of its nationwide anti-rape campaign in schools and communities.

The campaign seeks to trigger community engagement and support in a bid to prevent and respond to rape and sexual exploitation in the country.

The Ministry says under its 2016 strategy it is rallying the support of the public to join its campaign titled: “Name and Shame, Let’s Prosecute” aimed at vigorously exposing and ensuring prosecution of perpetrators.

Meanwhile, the Ministry says it is currently investigating three Bangladeshi Personnel of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) who are said to be linked to the physical abuse of a 12-year-old boy in Bong County.

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