Youth in Action for Peace and Empowerment or YAPE gives the Government of Liberia a four-day ultimatum to investigate Saint Assembly Church located in Cowfield community, Duport Road for allegedly depriving children access to education.
YAPE calls for immediate closure of the church if reports in the media are proven to be absolute truth.The organization is specifically calling on the Ministries of Education, Gender, Children and Social Protection, Justice and the Liberia National Police to probe the reports.
“We believe the Government of Liberia through the concern authorities will act responsibly and listen to the calls of the Liberian children. In a case where the MOE,MOGCSP,MOJ/LNP fail to investigate the case, we want to state strongly and categorically, there will be a re-occurrence of the Angel Togba’s peaceful march for Liberian Children,” says executive director Ms. Satta Sheriff.
She says young people in the country are troubled by reports of a strange church located in Duport Road, Paynesville that is depriving children access to education, including their families.
She notes that during their investigation, it was alleged that the Saint Assembly Church tells children education is a sin.“In due fulfillment of our role as an institution, we have come to renew national call for parents and government along with its partners to strengthen efforts in ensuring the survival, protection, development and participation of all Liberian children. The best interest and overall welfare of every Liberian child remains our foremost agenda,” the former children parliament speaker adds.
She stresses that the right to education and family are fundamental rights every child in Liberia is entitled, quoting the Liberian Children’s Law Article 3, section 9.1 which state: “Every child shall have the right to education, while section (9.6) says, “The Ministry of Education shall work more and more with the county leaders to encourage children to attend school all the time and to stop children from dropping out of schools”, and Article 3, Section 6.1 reads, “Every child shall have the right to be under the proper care and control of her or his real parents.”
“Let it be made clear to the Saint Assembly Church that, anyone found violating these rights is therefore violating the Liberian Children’s Law, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Chapter on the Rights and Welfare of Children thus, violating the rights of the children involved,” Ms. Sheriff laments.
By Ben P. Wesee