(March, 22, 2019), The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) said it is saddened by the death of 5-year old Blessing Johnson who was allegedly beaten to death by her guardian, Melisa Tokpa in the 72nd Community, Paynesville
The Ministry seriously alarmed over the act of inhumane form of domestic violence (abuse and torture) perpetrated against a little child, which, it said, subsequently resulted to the untimely death of said minor.
Press release from the Ministry on March 22, 2019 said the Ministry condemns the scourge of domestic violence and all forms of abuses against every Liberian child. The release said the wave of domestic violence underlines the importance of the ongoing collective national and international efforts at eliminating all forms of violence against children, girls, boys, women and men. “Domestic violence against children and abuses resulting to death is highly uncivilized and should have no place in our society”, the statement said.
MGCSP describes the inhumane act that led to the death of 5-year old Blessing as one of the most awful forms of domestic violence against a Liberian child and that such a cruel practice seriously violates the Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC).
Article 19 of the CRC states that, “Every child has the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally.” Therefore, the statement said, “the act of taking a child’s life also contravenes Article 6 of the CRC which calls for the right of every child to life.”
MGCSP says that the continuous acts of brutal punishments against children as form of discipline is unacceptable and seriously violates Article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of a Child, which states that “No one is allowed to punish children in a cruel or harmful way. Children should not be treated cruelly.”
The Ministry extends its deepest condolences to the family of Little Blessing and the children of Liberia and reassures them of Government’s fullest commitment in ensuring that children of Liberia are properly cared for and protected from all forms of violence, abuse and neglect. At the same time, the Ministry commends the Ministries of Justice, Health, the SOS, JDJ and JFK hospitals for the support and collaboration thus far. The Ministry is calling on the Ministry of Justice to ensure that the alleged perpetrator is tried in keeping with the penal code of the Republic of Liberia. The Ministry commits to follow-up on this process to its logical conclusion to ensure that justice is attained on behalf of Little Blessing.