Children Forum: ‘We are reduced to beggars by government’
By Lincoln G. Peters
The Liberia National Children Representative Forum (LNCRF), formerly known as the Children’s Parliament, has frowned over the decision taken by the Government of Liberia to exclude the institution from the 2022 National Budget, saying the lack of budgetary allotment has reduced the Children Forum to a beggar.
Speaking Monday, 28 March 2022 at LNCRF office at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, LNCRF Speaker Mr. Joel U. K. Gray said before the recognition of the institution, it was included in the national budget.
But from 2008 till now, Gray said, the Government of Liberia has given less attention to the interest of children, thereby reverting the institution to begging to enable it to enhance its activities. Joel stated that this is not a good face for Liberia.
“We are calling on the Government through the executive headed by His Excellency, Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia to kindly include us in the 2022 National Budget,” Joel said.
He hopes that such budgetary allotment could buttress Government’s effort with the amount of USD$50,000 which was previously placed in the budget under the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection for the LNCRF.
Speaker Gray said it is unrealistic to know that children are prostituting to earn a living, and risking their lives by selling petit commodities between vehicles in the traffic.
He said the US Department on Child Labour in 2020 reported that Liberia had about 75% of children involved in child labour, while 50% of the 75% were in the agriculture sector, especially with Firestone Liberia.
“We are calling on the Ministry of Labour to ensure that companies/ individuals that are involved with child labor be brought to the law,” said Mr. Gray.
The Liberia National Children Representative Forum also frowned on the poor implementation of the 2011 Children’s Law of Liberia which according to the institution is supposed to be taught in schools through the Ministry of Education curriculum.
Meanwhile, the LNCRF is calling on the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice to with immediate effect investigate and come up with findings into the cause of the death of Princes Cooper who was found dead in a pool of blood inside Fawaz compound in Paynesville.
The institution also condemns a statement by Police Spokesman Moses Carter alleging that Princess died normal death.
The Liberia National Children Representative Forum, formerly Children’s Parliament was established in 2008, February and was enacted into law on 13 October 2011 by the Legislature.