Liberia’s Deputy Justice Minister for Administration, Counselor Wheatonia Dixon Banes, says in order to address challenges affecting the country’s juvenile justice system, the Ministry of Justice and the United Nations Children Fund (UNCEF) have jointly established a Child Protection Section to mainly handle juvenile issues.
She said the 14 years of civil war in Liberia caused a complete collapse of the country’s physical and organizational infrastructure, including its juvenile justice system.
Cllr. Banes said that Section will mainly coordinate Child Justice Issues, including legislative advocacy, policy formulation, address child tracking concerns, and deal with issues of children in contact and in conflict with the law, among others.
Speaking Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at the start of training on Fundamentals of Child Protection for female police officers of the Women and Children Protection Section of the Liberian National Police (LNP), Cllr. Barnes lauded UNICEF for being supportive thru funding to the work of the section.
According to her, the section is responsible for issuing immigration clearance for juvenile adoptees and children with special medical needs.
Also speaking, the Child Justice Coordinator at the Ministry of Justice in Monrovia, J. Alben Greaves, lauded the participants for gracing the occasion and noted that child protection in Liberia is a major concern, which if not addressed now, would severely affect the ability of the next generation of young people.
Mr. Greaves said part of the responsibilities of the Liberian National Police is to help protect children and women from being abused. Edited Jonathan Browne