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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

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“Violation of Domestic Violence Laws of Liberia” -Gender Ministry Frowns On Man Who Married 12Yr. Old Girl

The Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection (MoGCSP) is calling on the general public, bloggers, and the Liberian media to assist in providing further information regarding the alleged wedding where a 57-year-old man married a 12-year-old girl.

However, the Ministry call comes in the wake of multiple social media publications alleging that a 57year- old-man had married a 12year-old- girl. The Ministry said, it takes seriously the information that a minor is being allegedly forced into marriage but will need more details to establish the authenticity of the reported story.

According to the Ministry, it also sees the act as a blatant violation of the Domestic Violence Laws of Liberia, which clearly prohibits marriages of girls under the age of 18 years. Chapter 2, Sub-section 2.2 of the law clearly defines the ages of consent for marriage.

Liberia’s Gender Minister Williametta Saydee Tarr

Amid the widely publicized online article, the Ministry of Gender through its SGBV TaskForce, comprising of LNP, Gender, Internal Affairs, LIS, CSOs, among others, has launched an immediate outreach seeking to verify the information and subsequently rescue the 12yrs-old-child from the alleged perpetrator.

The SGBV Taskforce, with an objective to arrest the situation, has already visited fourteen (14) communities including the SDA community, St. Matthew, Central Town, Blamo town, Zinc town, Zolo town, Sayou town, Gaye town, king peter town, gbadi town, gbee town, Babylo town, jacket community, blowin’ community, and Fula Mansion, but the information could not be verified.

Additionally, the SGBV Taskforce visited all the major mosqués in Logan Town, and therefore, spoke with some of the Imams and members of the Muslim Community regarding the alleged report, but the information still could not be independently confirmed.

In the same vain, the SGBV Taskforce reached out to some of the leading bloggers including, The Liberian Influence, Liberia Journal, and Shine Liberia, some of whom had earlier posted the information. However, none of them could verify the information.

Meanwhile, the Ministry finds it very troubling the refusal of those associated with the online publication of the information to disclose the identity or verify the alleged perpetrator, as the Ministry will on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, invite all bloggers particularly those that posted the story, to further verify the authenticity of their posts.

At the same time, the Ministry is calling on the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) to ensure that the alleged perpetrator is prevented from leaving the Country with the child.

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