Liberia’s Gender Ministry And Police Rescue 16 Years Old From Child Marriage

Liberia Minister of Gender, Williametta Piso Saydee Tarr

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) informs the public that with the aid of the Liberia National Police (LNP) a 16-year-old girl has been rescued from child marriage. The minor was scheduled to be wedded on Monday, June 8, 2020 to a polygamist named Jusu Kenneh, a resident of the Banjor Community, in Montserrado County. Jusu is already a husband of two wives and the minor was to become his third wife.

Child Marriage is a flagrant violation of the Liberian Children’s Law of 2011. As enshrined in Article Six Section four of the children’s law – No person or society shall subject a child to any of the

following practices:-

(a) marrying any person when she or he is still under the age of 18; (b) betrothing a child into marriage or a promise for marriage.

Gender commends the whistle blower whose cogent information led to a timely and fruitful intervention. The minor was rescued by a joint effort of the Liberia National Police and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

The Ministry urges the public to disengage from trying to obstruct constituted authorities in discharging their legal functions. Said unfortunate incident occurred when a small team of LNP’s Officers and Gender Ministry’s Team led by Assistant Minister of Children and Social Protection Maminah Carr, were initially physically obstructed as they tried to halt the wedding. This action on the part of some members of the community led to bodily injury of one of Gender’s social worker.

Gender reminds the public that child marriage is an unacceptable offense and an immoral act that must be condemned and not condoned by anyone. According to UNICEF, child marriage often compromises a girl’s development by resulting in early pregnancy and social isolation, interrupting her schooling and limiting her opportunities for career and vocational advancement.

The Ministry confirms that the survivor is presently in a safe home receiving well-being care and psychosocial counseling. MGCSP will remain fully engaged in pursuing justice for the survivor.

Gender applauds the Liberia National Police for the swift arrest of suspect Jusu Kenneh. The Ministry again welcomes public reporting on sexual and gender-based violence cases and encourages every citizen to continue to pay attention to happenings in the communities, and say or report anything seeming suspicious or out of the ordinary, as well as negative situations needing attention for different vulnerable groups. Please feel free to also use the 4455 Hotline to report any negative situations you might be in, or aware of.

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About Cholo Brooks 13344 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.