Lofa County Senator Sumo Kupee has resubmitted an act seeking for child support. The law will make financial support by Liberian and non-Liberian males compulsory to a child or children born in and out of wedlock or in events of divorce or separation of parents.
According to section three of the draft bill, which has been in committee room of the Liberian Senate since 2011, income shall be officially determined from employment source or other sources (hired or self-employed) and upon receipt of all basic information on such income, an amount of 20 per cent shall be determined per each child from the age of birth up to 18 years old and payable through a notary to the woman with whom the child or children were born and are residing.
Section four of the draft bill indicates that in the event of legal separation- where it is established by a court of competent jurisdiction that the child or children are reminded in the custody of the man, no such child support shall be applied.
Section five of the draft bill notes: “If a Liberian man living and working abroad leaves a woman, gets separated, devoiced or otherwise and said man return to Liberia and obtains gainful employment here, the 20 percent shall apply for the number of years such man was abroad.
Senator Kupee- sponsor of the bill, told reporters at the Capitol Thursday that realizing that the abandonment of children by many men do not only violate the fundamental rights of women as provided in Article 11 (a) and (b) of the Liberian Constitution, it also exposes young women to unbearable economic difficulties in caring for children left to in their custody.
According to him, the lack of resources has made and continues to make more young women to abandon efforts to improve their economic and social development in order to cater to children left in their care by men- with most of such children turning into gangsters or deprived of the fundamental rights to education and health.
He noted that the future of most women and children in the Liberian society will remain unpromising in the absence of appropriate legislations to provide corrective measures that will ensure that men who shall have children with young women in wedlock or not be responsible for the support of their child or children- whether in divorce or separation.
Meanwhile, a River Gee County Senator has filed a motion that the bill be sent to the committees on Gender and Women Affairs and the Judiciary to advise the plenary of the Liberian Senate within the shortest possible time. The motion was voted overwhelmingly by members of the senate.