Representatives to Query MoG, LNP Over Inability to Enforce ‘Child’s Right Law of 2011′ following Rep. Briggs’ Communication
Capitol Hill, Monrovia- In 2011, the Liberian Senate passed the Children’s Act of 2011, and in 2012 the President signed it into law. Article III of the act lays out a “Bill of Rights for Children,” which includes: The basic right to an adequate standard of living; education (including free, compulsory primary education); adequate food, water, housing, and clothing; access to medically necessary health care; participate in cultural activities that are in the child’s best interests; and leisure, play, and recreation.
The act also calls for the right to be protected from work and other practices that may threaten a child’s health or development.
Since it was passed, not much has been done by government institutions concerned evidenced by the increase in children selling in the street to sustain themselves as well as the increase in prostitution. Most importantly, not much has been done by enforcers of the laws.
However, as part of efforts to find a solution to these situations, the House of Representatives has cited the Minister of Gender (MoJ), Children and Social Protection Min. Willamette Saydee Tarr and Liberia National Police (LNP), Inspector General, Col. Patrick Sudue to explain their reasons for not enforcing the rights of children as enshrined in the Child’s Right Law of 2011.
The House’s move follows a communication from Bong County District #6 Rep. Moima Briggs Mensah.
In her communication on Thursdays, the Chairperson of the Bong County Legislative Caucus said the number of violations against Children’s rights in Liberia has rapidly increased with a specific interest in the number of children involved in Street Selling.
Recounting on the celebration of 16 days of Activism as a country; alarming all harmful practices and violations against women and children Rep. Mensah expressed concern over actions taken by these specialized government authorities to combat the situation.
Excerpt from Rep. Briggs’ communication: “While we strive personally to limit some of these situations, I am concerned about the actions taken by these specialized government authorities to combat this situation as the number of violations against Children’s rights in Liberia has rapidly increased with specific interest on the number of children involved in Street Selling.
“A few years ago, I wrote this august body alarming the increase in child prostitution, and when the Minster of Gender, Children and Social Protection was called, she blamed it on low
budgetary allocation, and now there’s another increase in violations against our children,” the communication added.
Following the deliberation of her communication, a motion was filed by Montserrado County District #2 representative Jimmy Smith to invite the Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection Min. Willamette Saydee Tarr and Liberia National Police, Inspector General, Cornel Patrick Sudue next week Thursday to explain their reasons for not enforcing the rights of children as enshrined in the Child’s Right Law of 2011.
The motion was granted through a unanimous vote.