from MULBAH WESSEH in Monrovia, Liberia
MONROVIA, (CAJ News) – CHILDREN’S’ rights groups have expressed dismayed at the widespread rape of young girls in Liberia.
The latest violation has occurred in the northern Gbabolu County (province) where a three-year-old has been raped by a high school student, who is reportedly under 18.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in 2019, at least 70 percent of reported cases of rape through the Gender-Based Violence Information Management System (GBV IMS) in Liberia are girls between the ages of 12 – 17 years old.
“This recent incident shows how children as young as three years old are victims to this gruesome act and increasingly more adolescent boys are arrested as suspects,” lamented Laila Gad, UNICEF representative to Liberia.
“UNICEF calls for a swift investigation and trial in line with measures in place for handling children in contact with the law, both as victims and perpetrators,” the envoy added.
She raised concern that the West African country had already experienced increased vulnerabilities of children and women as victims of gender based violence during the Ebola pandemic in 2014-2015.
There were increased reports of sexual violence against women and children, especially girls, during the period.
Girls became pregnant and eventually dropped out of school.
Thus UNICEF and partners said were concerned how the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the preventive measures were having an adverse impact to women and children.
It is feared the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the preventive measures might have an adverse impact on women and children.
– CAJ News