Deputy Gender Minister for Children and Social Protection, Lydia M. Sherman, has disclosed that the Juvenile Unit at the ministry recorded 37 cases of violence against children in the first quarter of 2019.
Speaking Wednesday at the celebration of the World Day Against Child Labour in the conference hall of the Ministry of Labour, Minister Sherman stated that the 37 cases include simple assault, child conflicts, abandonment, and rape.
She explained that 17 of the cases were meted out against females, while 20 were committed against males with ages ranging from two weeks to 17 years.
The MoGCSP official indicated that the 2012 UNICEF statistics shows that child labour still remains alarming in Liberia, putting the societal ill at 20.8%, noting that more needs to be done to address the issue.
According to Madam Sherman, in urban areas, children are seen selling in the streets, while those that reside in the rural areas are engaged in undue agriculture, fishing and mining activities in hazardous environments.
“Our girl children are also employed in homes to do domestic work, which put them at risk of physical and sexual harassment,” Sherman noted.
Meanwhile, Madam Sherman has disclosed that about 39.2% of Liberian children around the age range of 15-17 years have experienced physical violence.
The MoGCSP official indicated that 3,323 Liberian children lost one or both parents or primary caregivers due to the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak, according to the Ministry of Health and UNICEF reports.
Sherman revealed that the Ministry and the Government at large are doing everything possible to ensure that measures are put into place to remedy the situation.
“Today, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to this cause by joining the Ministry of Labor and other partners in the celebration of the “World Day Against Child Labour,” she pointed out, adding: “We recognize that a future without child labor is a way to genuinely highlight the plight of children victimized by the harsh conditions of child labor.”
According to Madam Sherman, the commitment is further manifested through the establishment and promotion of the Liberia National Children’s Representative Forum, which is currently housed by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP).
“We cannot overemphasize our passion for young workers’ safety, bearing in mind that ‘a generation safe and healthy’ is an equivalent of asafe and healthy population,” Sherman emphasized.
She encouraged the citizenry to join the MoGCSP in celebrating the “Day of the African Child” on June 17 in Bentol, Montserrado County.