- location:Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa
‘Reclaiming Street Girls':104 Girls Removed From The Streets of Monrovia
A Special Presidential Taskforce headed by the Ministry of Gender and Development has begun removing young women off the streets who are engaged in illicit sex trade. In a single sweep on Friday night on May 18, 2012, 104 girls with ages ranging from 12 t0 18 were collected from entertainment centers in various parts of Monrovia, according to the Taskforce.
The Taskforce that consists of the Ministry of Justice, the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL), the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the YWCA and other civil society organizations has vowed to extend the initiative outside of Monrovia.
The girls whose ages range from 12 to 18, have been taken to the YWCA in Congo Town for screening and will later be taken to various “Safe Homes” to undergo counseling and mentoring classes as part of the process to transform and integrate them into society to become useful citizens, the Ministry of Gender and Development informed this paper over the Weekend.
The Ministry says there are also plans to provide skills training for the young girls, as well as send some of them to boarding schools as part of their transformation process. However, these plans will only be actualized after these girls’ needs are determined following the conclusion of the screening and other processes, the Ministry stated.
The Ministry of Gender and Development and the Special Presidential Taskforce are meanwhile calling on parents and guardians to show more concern about the well being of their children, noting that these young girls, mainly minors, run the risk of being harmed while on the streets and engaging in unwholesome behavior and practices.
Meanwhile, the move by the Special Presidential Taskforce headed by the Ministry of Gender and Development to remove young girls off the streets has received commendations from the public, with some noting that the initiative is worthwhile, and a true demonstration of President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf’s love and concern for girls and young women in the country, thus, doing everything humanly possible to enhance their rehabilitation and development and to empower them to become independent and useful citizens in society.
It can be recalled that President Sirleaf in January while delivering the State of the Nation Address before the National Legislature, underscored the need to empower Liberia’s young people, and said their development is critical to the long term stability and economic advancement of the country. Writes Peter A. Fahn
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