Child Abuse, Sexual Violence Persist In Liberia, Says US Report

abuseThere is persistent widespread child abuse and reports of sexual violence against children in Liberia, the US State Department 2015Human Rights Report on Liberia has indicated.

The report released recently quotes civil society organizations as having reported many rape cases against children under 12, and 44 cases of child endangerment during the year under review.

“The government has spoken out against the issue and engaged in public campaigns to combat child rape,” the report pointed out.

The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices are submitted annually by the U.S. Department of State to the U.S. Congress in compliance with sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA).

The report, which focuses on various rights issues, also spoke of early and forced marriage, the negative consequences of child marriage though underage marriage still remains a problem, especially in rural areas.

The U.S. 2015 Human Rights Report quotes a UNICEF 2015 report as recording that 11 percent of women aged 20 to 24 were married by age 15 and 38 percent were married by age 18.

The report further said that despite the prohibition of commercial or sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, authorities generally enforced the law, although girls occasionally were exploited in prostitution in exchange for money, food, and school fees.

According to the report, regulation of orphanages continued to be “very weak” as international organizations and government attempts to reunite children separated from their families during the civil war, some children — a mix of street children, former combatants, and internally displaced persons — continued to live on the streets of Monrovia.

LINA

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About Cholo Brooks 14335 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.