The Ministry of Justice reaffirms its commitment to combat sexual and gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices – FrontPageAfrica


Robertsports, Grand Cape Mount County – A prosecutor and program officer from the SGBV Crimes Unit at the Department of Justice, Atty. Josephine S. Grose indicated that her ministry is ready to put in place measures to address sexual gender based violence (SGBV) which is currently on the rise in Liberian society.

Atti. Grose made the remark during a three-day capacity building training for criminal justice chain actors at Robertsports, Grand Cape Mount County, recently. There, she reiterated that during the year under review, sexual and gender-based crimes increased in Liberia.

Addressing the participants, Atty. Grose said that there have been numerous cases in Liberia relating to sexual and gender based violence which have caused serious health issues for those affected; noting that such acts have in most cases resulted in the death of some minors.

She further indicated that due to the sharp rise in cases of sexual and gender-based violence, the Weah-led government instituted a US$2 million roadmap to eradicate violence against women. and children.

“We must fight this problem together, and stop compromising cases of sexual and gender-based violence so that our children are safe. As actors in the criminal justice chain, this is the moment we need to help the national government in this fight,” participants implored.

Atti. Grose at the same time encouraged participants to be more proactive in addressing sexual and gender-based violence, harmful traditional practices and using the knowledge acquired during the three days of training.

According to the head of the SGBV program at the Ministry of Justice, the offense of rape can be committed in different ways.

What she said, “Under Chapter 14, Section 14.70 of the Rape Act, a person who has sexual intercourse with another person (male or female) has committed rape if: He intentionally penetrates the vagina , mouth, anus or any other opening of another person (male or female) with his penis, without the consent of the victim”.

She further noted, “If the survivor is under 18 and the actor is 18 or older, the offense qualifies as statutory rape and consent is not required as Chapter 11.11a of the Act of the Juvenile Procedural Code and the Children’s Act 2011 considers a minor under the age of 18 to be a child/minor”.

Atti. Grose at the same time promised that his department at the Ministry of Justice would work tirelessly in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence and other harmful traditional practices, calling on actors in the justice chain not to let up until that crime against women and children be minimized in Liberia.

Also speaking, Spotlight Initiative Program Field Officer Abraham B. Kanneh said sexual and gender-based violence is one of the issues affecting women and children, as such there is a need to raise awareness adequately cities, towns, cities and the whole country.

The program field officer said women and children are abused daily in the country by men, noting that it is time their safety was a priority.

“Women are the backbone of men, so let’s stand firm against sexual and gender-based violence. As we gather here today, in the fight against violence against women, let us be sincere in reporting and adjudicating cases for the sake of our sisters, mothers and little brothers who are victims of bad people. Kanneh urged attendees.

The training marked the second phase of the training of criminal justice actors which aims to transmit the response and prevention of sexual gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices and violations of sexual and reproductive health rights to the Liberia.

For her part, Linda B. Saygbe, Training and Outreach Coordinator, SGBV/MOJ Unit, highlighted that the first phase in 2020, targeted justice and security actors, SGBV nurses , social workers, judicial actors, civil society organizations and among others.

Speaking to journalists, at the end of the training, Ms Saygbe explained that “the essence of the second phase is to strengthen response and accountability to improve the prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence, harmful traditional practices and sexual and reproductive health rights in Liberia.

She said: ‘The National Government and the Traditional Council had come to an agreement that when English schools are open, traditional schools must be closed for the good learning outcome of school children, and we are not against it. We’re not against our culture, but there are other harmful practices that we’re trying to reduce.

She continued, “We’re not saying female genital mutilation is wrong, but when it goes against someone’s right to consent, then there’s a problem. If a grown woman wants to go to the Sande Bush on her own, that’s fine. But no one should force her to go. On the other hand, basically everyone has rights. Therefore, other people who choose to be LGBT must be protected because internationally they are protected…so we must respect their basic human rights,” the coordinator of the training and outreach to participants informed.

For their part, two of the participants, Jokon Brown from Sinje Health Center and Pauline Nimely, Supervisor of Social Workers in Grand Cape Mount County, said the training was educational as it eradicated false notions about gender-based violence. on gender and sexual and reproductive health rights.

According to Brown, he was able to understand the SGBV referral journey.

He at the same time appreciated the organizer and recommended that the training continue in all 15 counties of Liberia.

Pauline Nimely admitted that the subjects taught during the three days were essential to her function at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, as it broadened her knowledge of gender.

The training was organized by the SGBV-Crimes Unit of the Ministry of Justice and funded by the EU/UN Spotlight Initiative in collaboration with the Government of Liberia with support from UNDP Liberia.

The objectives were to strengthen the capacity of actors in the criminal justice chain to respond to cases of sexual and gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices, to eliminate violence against women and girls, to give actors justice the means to ensure that gender issues are mainstreamed and to create a platform for networking and information sharing among stakeholders. .


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