Police Inspector and Gender Minister to Face Lawmakers over Teenage Prostitution

MONROVIA, Montserrado – Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue, along with Gender Minister Wilhelmina Piso Saydee-Tarr, are expected to appear before members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday to give reasons for the growing rate of teenage prostitution.

Bong’s sixth district representative, Moima Briggs-Mensah, wrote the House of Representatives to invite the two officials to appear before it and provide reasons for what she termed as “a non-enforcement” of the law against prostitution.

Acts of prostitution, according to Rep. Mensah, violate the Penal Code of Liberia. The lawmaker said the institutions responsible for enforcing the law, such as the police and Gender Ministry, have failed.

“Let the gender minister and the police IG come and tell us why they are not enforcing the law against prostitution,” she told her colleagues.

She said her attention has been drawn especially to the alarming rate of prostitution in major drinking spots in Monrovia and other major cities across the country. She claimed that the act has now grown among early teens between the ages of 13 and 15-years and leading to the alarming spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. She said the act also encourages crimes such as rape, human trafficking, and the abuse of women.

“This is so sad, distressing, and alarming; and nobody’s saying something about their actions,” she emphasized.

She noted that records of the recent past show that the lack of enforcement encourages young girls and boys to drop out of school because they use the crime to generate income. Briggs-Mensah said prostitution undermines the country’s growth and development.

Following a heated debate on the communication, lawmakers decided to invite the two officials to appear before them on Tuesday, July 16.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Ida Reeves

Ida Reeves is a senior student at the University of Liberia studying Mass Communications and Sociology. She graduated from the Young Political Leadership School and has worked in the past for Farbric Radio, Freedom Radio, and Frontier newspaper.

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