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Liberia declares rape a national emergency

Rape is declared as a national emergency in Liberia after spike in number of cases.

Liberian President George Weah, on Friday, said that he would install a special prosecutor for rape in Liberia, as well as set up a national sex offender registry.

A statement from his office said, that the government will also establish a “national security task force” on sexual- and gender-based violence.

A 2016 UN report suggests 803 rape cases were recorded in 2015 and only two percent of sexual violence cases led to a conviction in the country.

Margaret Taylor, the director of Liberia’s Women Empowerment Network, told to AFP that her NGO received 80 to 100 calls regarding sexual violence in May. From june to August, there were increase in numbers, with more than 600 cases.

Weah’s announcement of a national rape emergency follows a conference in the capital Monrovia on tackling sexual violence on Wednesday.

Addressing the meeting, the footballer-turned-president said Liberia was “witnessing what is actually an epidemic of rape within the pandemic, affecting mostly children and young girls across the country.”

The Government will be looking into further anti-rape measures as well.

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