MONROVIA – The Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection (MOGCSP) has urged for the establishment of a secure environment in Liberia that fosters the growth and development of children, in anticipation of the official celebration of International Children’s Day in Monrovia this Friday.
By: Gerald C. Koinyeneh – [email protected]
International Children’s Day, marked every year on November 20th globally, advocates for initiatives promoting the welfare and rights of children as outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The commemoration, set for December 7, 2023, at the EJS Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, emphasizes the theme “Investing in Children’s Rights.”
Lydia Mai Sherman, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Protection at the Ministry of Gender, highlighted the importance of this day, emphasizing that it marks the 69th anniversary of International Children’s Day. Due to the national electoral process, Liberia deferred its official celebration to December 7 of this year.
Sherman emphasized that this year’s observance, under the global theme “For Every Child, Every Right,” aims to celebrate the potential and leadership capabilities of children while calling for action against all forms of violence that impede their rights.
She stressed the significance of protecting and promoting children’s rights in Liberia, encouraging commitment from Liberians to create an environment where every child can flourish and reach their full potential.
Recognizing children’s rights as human rights, Sherman underlined the spectrum of fundamental principles encompassed, including education, healthcare, safety, expression, and participation in decision-making processes. She emphasized the need to translate these rights into tangible actions and values within society.
Sherman further highlighted the importance of community involvement, particularly citing the role of the Child Protection Network of Liberia (CPN) in supporting child protection initiatives. She stressed the necessity of child-friendly information services, tailored systems, and environments in education, healthcare, and justice sectors to facilitate children’s growth and development across all sectors of Liberia’s advancement.
She called for a collective recognition that children are active agents of change and urged providing them with the necessary tools and opportunities. The Ministry aims to collaborate with partners to combat violations against children, emphasizing the importance of ongoing commitment from all stakeholders.
While their tenure concludes with the electoral shift, Sherman expressed confidence in the incoming government’s recognition of the significance of such initiatives. She urged all stakeholders to transcend political affiliations, emphasizing the imperative role of safeguarding Liberian children’s well-being.
Sherman extended gratitude to President George Manneh Weah, the Ministry’s dedicated staff, partners, civil society organizations, and the people of Liberia for their unwavering support. She emphasized the importance of collective action to create a brighter future for Liberian children.
Encouraging reflection on the potential within Liberian children, Sherman stressed the need to invest in their rights, nurture their leadership, and prioritize their well-being. She highlighted the collective responsibility to create an inclusive society where children are celebrated and empowered, envisioning a future where every child can thrive.
She said: “The CDC-led government did not do this alone,” she said. “We must highlight the importance of community involvement, including support from local and international child protection bodies; particularly, the role of the Child Protection Network of Liberia (CPN) cannot be overstated. Furthermore, as we invest in children’s well-being, we must prioritize the creation of information services and systems that are child-friendly. This means that we must ensure that children have access to accurate and age-appropriate information on a wide range of topics, including sexual and reproductive health, mental health, and educational and career opportunities.”