Gender Ministry responds to tragic deaths linked to FGM  

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 By Alhaji Haruna Sani

In a recent press release, the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs expressed deep concern over the reported deaths of three children in Kabalor and Bubuya (Tonko Limba Chiefdom) in Kambia District and Tainkatopa Chiefdom in Port Loko District.

The deaths were linked to initiation rites associated with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The Ministry conveyed its sincere condolences to the bereaved families and regretted the unfortunate loss of lives and promise ollaborating effectively with Law Enforcement Agencies, the Ministry is committed to ensuring the safety and protection of children, working to prevent any recurrence of such tragic incidents.

The statement assured the families and the public that justice will be served, and the perpetrators will face appropriate punishment.

Emphasizing the Government’s dedication to upholding the rights of children, the Ministry referred to international conventions such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It reiterated the commitment to preventing harmful practices detrimental to the health, social, and economic well-being of children.

In light of the recent events, the Ministry reaffirmed the ongoing efforts of the Government to review the Child Rights Act of 2007.

The objective according to the ministry is to strengthen provisions related to the protection of children, including the prohibition of harmful practices such as underage rites of passage (female genital mutilation), early and child marriage, and child cruelty.

The proposed changes aim to further safeguard children from various forms of abuse.

The Ministry’s press release reflects the Government’s determination to address the critical issue of harmful traditional practices affecting children, highlighting the need for legal measures to protect the rights and well-being of the younger generation.

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