(LINA) – About twenty children from the Liberia Children Forum will for a day play leading roles and take over positions of key ministries, agencies and schools aimed at giving them an opportunity to build their self-esteem and gain confidence.
Speaking recently at a news conference in Monrovia, the Deputy Minister of Gender, Alice Johnson-Howard said the ministry is strengthening coordination and collaboration with partners to ensure that children participate in advocacy and play key leadership roles in engaging decision makers for their rights and well-being.
The children are expected to be placed in several institutions, which include the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MOGCSP), Internal Affairs, Ministry of Education, Central Bank, UNICEF, UNFPA, Orange Telecommunication, Save the Children, SOS, Ministry of Youth and Sports, among others.
Although, Pillar One “Power to the People” of the Government’s Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development supports children’s rights and development, she indicated that there are challenges and gaps which need to be collectively addressed.
“Since we are all aware that the fight to protect the rights of children continues and recognizing that violence against children is a global issue which must be addressed, the European Union and the United Nations in collaboration with national government have joined a global, multi-year partnership (Spotlight Initiatives) aimed at supporting the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030,” she added.
According to her, Gender Ministry acknowledges the efforts of all stakeholders in ending violence against children, while they strive for the achievement of the sustainable development goals and jointly respond to all forms violence against children with a particular focus on domestic and family violence, harmful practices as well as trafficking in persons.
Liberia as a signatory has made significant efforts by enacting legislation, policies and programs to address the rights and welfare of children, she said.
To date, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with partners, has implemented several programs aimed at ensuring children rights are protected and that they live in an environment free from neglect, exploitation and abuse, especially abuses associated with sexual gender based violence (SGBV).
As Liberia joins the rest of the world to observe the Universal Children’s Day, the MOGCSP, has engaged a broad spectrum of young people and ensure that they promote and advocate for implementation of policies, strategies and programs on ending violence against children, Madame Howard noted.
This year’s celebration of the Universal Children’s Day and the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child, organized by the Liberia National Children Representative Forum in collaboration with the Children’s Division of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and partners, under the global theme: “Make Every Child Future Count by Protecting Their Rights Today.”
It will also hinge on activities earmarking the 16-day of Activism against sexual gender based violence. Therefore, the event will be celebrated on December 6, 2019.
As part of activities marking the observance, children will participate in a nationwide Radio Talk Shows that are intended to create mass awareness on the Universal Children Day celebration.