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Gov’t Launches Campaign To End Child Marriage
MONROVIA, December 15 (LINA) - The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has officially launched a campaign to end child marriage in the country.
The activity, which took place in Tubmanburg, Bomi County Wednesday, brought together women, children, traditional chiefs, as well as UNICEF and other partners.
It was held under the theme “African Year of Human Rights With Focus on Women’s Rights,” and a national theme: “We Are Children, Not Wives,” according to media reports Thursday.
The day was observed in recognition of the impact of millions of girls becoming brides and being robbed of their aspiration to a full and dignified life.
In remarks at the occasion, the Speaker of the Children Parliament, Siatta Sheriff, said that it is not only important but also demanding that actions are taken to end the practice of child marriage in Liberia.
Sheriff recalled that by international convention, 18 years has been established as the legal age of consent to marriage and that the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, calls for prohibiting “child marriage.”
She observed that most of the girls that are married worldwide today are married before age 18, noting that they are forced into the arrangement by their parents.
She noted that child marriage robs girls of the chance to lead their own lives on their own terms, adding that “it is also a devastating lifelong consequence and it violates the basic human rights of girls to health, education, safety and well-being.