The Vice President of the Defense for Children International (DCI) for the African region says he is impressed with the readiness of the Liberian government to ensure that children rights are ensured in post conflict Liberia. DCI is an international child rights organization working on lot of children issues ranging from juvenile justice, equal opportunity for girls and safe environment for children amongst others in the country. According to Mr. Abdul M. Kemokai, he was surprised to see an African country that has suffered 14 years of civil conflict to prioritize children rights, more especially girls’ rights to the highest extent.
However, Mr. Kemokai was quick to point out that the government progress towards ensuring the right of children particularly girls is still tied up with lots of challenges that need urgent attention.
He said the issue of female genital mutilation, gender inequality for boys and girls, juvenile justice amongst others need urgent attention.
He made these remarks during a recent interview with this paper following a tour of DCI-Liberia projects in the country.
“DCI-Liberia is progressing with its programs in Liberia because of the readiness from the government officials to ensure that children rights are really ensure in Liberia, but the greatest challenge is that the government lacks the capacity to protect children right at all levels,” he said.
“Ministry of Gender and Development is yet able to put all the required programs into place to ensure equal opportunity for the children of Liberia. Until the government institutions are well capacitated to perform their role and responsibilities effectively, the NGOs will only try, but would yield the needed result,” the DCI vice president pointed out.
The DCI vice president also stressed the need for girls to be more informed about their own challenges and the need to take on them (challenges) as they are been helped by NGOs and government.
He added that informing children about their challenges and providing ways to overcome them is better than even giving them (girls) food to eat.