WEIGHT: 67 kg
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Monday, May 8, The aid agency Save the Children says an alarming number of girls in Liberia , as young as eight, were having sex with UN peacekeepers , policemen, teachers and humanitarian aid workers in exchange for money, food or favours. Most of them are in households headed by only the mother, catering for children.
Their fathers got killed in the war, or some fathers are living but can't afford to care for their children; they have to accept the situation, so there is no way out. The report says most people cited lack of economic and livelihood opportunities, as well as chronic poverty, as underlying causes for the ongoing exploitation of children.
Parents reported feeling powerless to stop children who were having sex in exchange for goods and services, as they did not have the economic means to provide for their children. In some instances, families cited that transactional sex was a means of supporting the wider family to access things such as food or money to purchase food.
In other cases, children identified more personal needs such as clothing or being able to access video clubs to watch films. The widespread nature of the problem meant it affected children in a broad cross section of environments. The study, conducted by Save the Children , was intended to explore the ways in which children in 'Internally Displaced Person' IDP camps are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse as they attempt to meet their basic and other needs.
It also explored the roles and responsibilities of humanitarian agencies in providing more protective systems for the delivery of assistance. During the discussions in the field, men, women and children were consulted.