The Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs has today September 11th, 2023 issued a statement about a 5-year-old girl child who suffered human rights abuse at the hands of her caregiver at the Murry Town Barracks in Freetown.

The woman, identified as ‘FA’ is accused of severely beating the girl for taking food from a pot without her knowledge, especially after the child was denied food all day.

According to reports, this young girl was brought from a village recently by the woman, to assist with household chores. Based on an eyewitness account, this is not an isolated incident. This woman has allegedly subjected the young girl to repeated abuse, claiming it to be discipline. This action has led to calls by Sierra Leoneans on the government to take action.

In its response on Monday, the Children’s Affairs said the child is responding to treatment and care while the ministry together with its child protection partners are using the child protection case management principle to ensure every support to this child is accomplished, assuring the public that the child has been placed in an Interim Care Centre for proper case management including psychosocial support with every effort to ensure her full rehabilitation and reintegration.

The press release continued that, the Sierra Leone Police is doing everything possible to undertake a thorough investigation and ensure the alleged perpetrator is brought to book as is currently in police custody whilst investigations are concluded for legal action.

The Ministry further commended the Sierra Leone Police for their proactive action in the arrest of the alleged perpetrator and effective collaboration with the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs in addressing the plight of this child.

The Ministry called on the public to stop sharing the video of the girl on social media in a bid to maintain confidentiality and dignity and avoid stigmatization, assuring the public that the child is in safe hands and that the matter will be given the utmost attention to ensure appropriate legal action is pursued.