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UNICEF: Protecting girls from sexual violence in Liberia

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Published on Nov 14, 2008

The World Congress III against the Sexual Exploitation of Children, set for 25-28 November 2008 in Brazil, aims to promote international cooperation for more effective action on sexual exploitation. Here is one in a series of related stories.

MONROVIA, Liberia, 14 November 2008 Peace came to Liberia in 2003, after 14 years of brutal, devastating civil war. Since then, progress to rebuild the country has been significant: the restoration of infrastructure, public services, the economy and the rule of law is well under way.

Despite positive strides towards a restored society, sexual violence against women and children remains a central reality of life in Liberia, where the United Nations maintains its second largest peacekeeping mission (UNMIL) anywhere.


According to police statistics, week after week, rape especially of girls between the ages of 10 and 14 is the most reported crime.

To help young girls and women reclaim their lives, UNICEF supports a safe-house programme that provides food, medicine and counselling.

UNICEF Representative in Liberia Rozanne Chorlton said the safe house is a confidential location where girls who have been badly sexually exploited can be taken and cared for, and given the kind of intense counselling and psychosocial support they need until they can re-grasp their lives and restore their dignity and self confidence enough to be able to go back to their communities.

To read the full story, visit: http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/l...

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