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We are vulnerable to sexual exploitation – 10-year-old girl tells government

October 24, 2016 By Regina Pratt

10-year-old Salamatu Bangura, a pupil the Saint Anthony’s Primary School, last Thursday expressed how vulnerable girls within the age of 10 as they are constantly grappling with sexual exploitation within their various communities.

 “We are vulnerable to sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy, child marriage and harmful traditional practices,” she said, telling the government and partners that “our future is our future, make it bright.”

She made the above statement while presenting a paper on behalf of her colleagues during the launch of the State of the World Population report at the British Council Hall, Tower Hill, in Freetown.

The ten-year-old however noted that despite the numerous challenges they face, children do not need much to be transitioned into a successful adulthood.

She therefore called on the government and partners to invest in their education up to tertiary level, so that they would be able to realise their potential.

“Government should provide us learning materials, pay our school fees, pay our teachers well, make the learning environment conducive for us, and protect us from sexual abuse and exploitation. The period for adolescence is not for schooling and not for teenage pregnancy and child bearing,” she said. “Don’t send us into early marriage, but allow us to go into adulthood and decide on when and who to get married to.”

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