December 16, 2009
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) says one out of every 10 children born in Liberia die of all forms of curable diseases before reaching the age of 5 years.
The Agency said although there has been some level of improvement in the death rate (child mortality) among children, unlike 6 years ago when mortality rate of children was at 2 out of 10 children.
UNICEF Communication Officer, Louis Vinio, told reporters in Monrovia that there has also been some level of improvement by the government of Liberia in the number of enrollment amongst children in Liberia to about 40-50%.
“For the past 6 years, especially under this administration of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, there has also been some major improvement in protecting and promoting the rights of children in Liberia, but there are still more that needs to be done in putting into place and improved by us as provided in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC),” (government and partners), Mr. Vinio said.
The CRC, adopted by the United Nations in 1989 and ratified by the Government of Liberia in 1993, seeks among other things to promote and protect the rights of every child, no matter their sex, colors, religions, ethnic backgrounds etc.
Article 4 of the CRC states, “Governments have a responsibility to take all available measures to making sure children’s rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. When countries ratify the Convention, they agree to review their laws relating to children, this involve assessing their social services, legal, health and educational systems, as well as levels of funding for these services….”
It further states in article 2 that, “The Convention applies to all children, whatever their race, religion or abilities; whatever they think or say, whatever type of family they come from. It doesn’t matter where children live, what language they speak, what their parents do, whether they have a disabilities or whether they are rich or poor, and no child should be treated unfairly on any basis”.
The UNICEF Communication Officer said children are mostly portrayed in the media as mere victims of crimes and other forms of abuses and needs to be improved.
“The issue concerning children goes beyond being portrayed as mere street sellers, being out of school, engaged in force labor and being victims of crimes and abuses, but rather there are some positive things that needs to be highlighted as provided in the CRC,” he noted.