Former Speaker of the Liberian Children’s Parliament Satta Sheriff says she is currently troubled by the increase in number of violations meted against children of this Country.
According to her she remained resolved in ensuring the survival, protection, development and participation of all Liberian children which she noted is her best interest and overall priority agenda.
Addressing a news conference on Wednesday April 25th, 2018 the national child rights advocate told the media that it has become an unquestionably reality that Liberian children are at high risk due to unsafe environment across the Country.
Satta regret to see children as bread winners for their families indicating further that the number of streets selling children have increased over the past years as their lives she added are been at risk mainly when they are seen between cars selling just to get ants meat for their respective families, something she added is disappointing .
The former Speaker of the Children’s Parliament wonders why there are laws on the books to protect children’s rights yet they are not been enforced nor implemented.
According to the Liberian Children’s Law among other things”Being a child is a time for special care and help, every child has the right to live a good life that will help him or her grow up well”.
Additionally the Ministry of health and social welfare shall work with other government ministries and agencies and county leaders, through the ministry of internal affairs to make sure living conditions of children are safe, healthy, clean and good for them to grow this she noted has been lacking over the past years.
The Geneva declaration on the rights of the child of 1924 which was adopted by the United Nations general assembly in 1959 further states that”the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth”.
In this light Satta challenged national government to engender a concrete framework that will take children from the streets.
The children rights advocate disclosed that the number of sexual gender based violence cases over the past few years have increased with children been mostly the victims.
The reports from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social protection indicates that out of (1685)Sexual gender based violence cases (1082) amounting to 64.2%are children something she said is alarming and requires urgent National attention.
Speaking further the executive director for youth in action for Peace and Empowerment condemned in the strongest term the alleged rape case of an eleven year old girl which linked Momolu V. O. Sirleaf of the Ministry of health.
She called on the Ministry of Justice to ensure that justice is served to the little victim, noting that rape is a crime and perpetrators of rape must be treated as one.
Similarly Satta told reporters that she was completely disappointed in the manner and form in which representative Morias Waylee case was handled by the Liberia National Police and the Judiciary system.
According to her the thirteen year old rape victim is at large, what a shame she added.
“When we as a nation should be protecting children, we are seen busy endangering their lives by been selective in the fight against rape” , this is appalling, she noted.
Satta told reporters that she is increasingly saddened by recent report of the dismissal of Morais Waylee case from the city Court with no tangible reasons giving.
Morais the child rights advocate stated is no different from all the alleged rapists who cases have gone unresolved, it is my hope she noted that the 13 year old girl Raggie will one day be found, adding that justice maybe delay but can’t be denied.
She at the same time called on the Ministry of Justice to explain to the Liberian people in a public manner why an indefinite released was granted to Varney Jersey who is accused of statutory raped (first degree felony) but was released on medical bail in recent weeks.
“I am worried about the surety of the criminal bond of the former student leader, let justice be done to all” , noted Satta.
In an effort to fight rape nationally Satta wants the government and its institutions to improve the judiciary system of the Country as well as strengthen the system to ensure speedy and fair trial for both rape victims and perpetrators of rape respectively.
In conclusion she noted that Liberia has gone too far in fighting rape related issues and can not at this crucial time lose focus when the fight against rape itself she added has just begun.
Effective, practical enforcible and robust implementation of the good laws on the books of this Country is the best way to go, she intoned.
Satta vowed to continue constructively engaging the government and other relevant authorities until the right things are done to ensure the lives of the children of Liberia are improve to the letter.
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