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ECOWAS Resident Representation in Liberia & The Radio in Collaboration with UNICEF and Bridge Liberia celebrate the “Day of the African Child”

ECOWAS Resident Representation in Liberia & The Radio in Collaboration with UNICEF and Bridge Liberia celebrate the “Day of the African Child”

In celebration of the Day of the African Child, June 16th, 2022, the ECOWAS Resident Representative Office in Liberia, and ECOWAS Radio collaborated with UNICEF and Bridge-Liberia to host programs marking the day. This year’s theme is, “Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children: Policy and Practice Since 2013”.  About forty children from different schools in Liberia were given the opportunity on the ECOWAS Radio to shed light on some of the harmful practices affecting children within their homes, communities, schools, and the larger society.


The various topics under discussion centred on: The harmful things children do to themselves; The world young people desire; Harmful practices on campuses and how these practices can be prevented or stopped, as well as, how policy makers can ensure the protection of children.

Cardinal among guests featured were the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, H.E. Dr. Chief Jewel Howard Taylor, the Resident Representative of UNICEF, Laila Omar Gad, the Managing Director of Bridge-Liberia, Gbovadeh Gbilia and the ECOWAS Resident Representative Office represented by Mr. Nathaniel B. Walker, Political Advisor/Liaison Officer Early Warning.


Key among the issues highlighted regarding the theme of the day was the need for ECOWAS to strengthen its child protection policy within the sub-region to address the harmful practices affecting children, particularly young girls against FGM, child marriage, drug addiction, sex for grades, child labour, among other.


During the radio panel discussions, Mr. Walker representing the ECOWAS Resident Representative, H.E. Josephine Nkrumah, highlighted some of the key accomplishments of ECOWAS relating to the rights of children; these include,  the ECOWAS Child Policy and Strategic Plan of Action (2019-2030); ECOWAS Plan of Action to


Combat Trafficking in Persons 2018 -2022 and related Texts (Policy on Protection and Assistance to Victims and Guidelines on Protection Support and Assistance to Witnesses etc.); ECOWAS Strategic Framework on National Child Protection Systems Strengthening to Prevent and Respond to Violence, Abuse and Exploitation of Children and its Implementation Guidelines; The ECOWAS Roadmap on Prevention and Response to Child Marriage (2019 – 2030); and ECOWAS Political Declaration and Common Position against Child Marriage (awaiting clearance from Legal), among others.


H.E. Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor representing the government of Liberia reassured the children of Liberia and those within the sub-region of her government’s commitment to ensuring that the rights of children are upheld and that children should be allowed to be children.


Meanwhile, the Resident Representative of UNICEF, Madam Laila Omar Gad reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to its child protection program until 2024 at which time its 5 years program would expire, and with a renewed commitment to the implementation of its mandate in Liberia.


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