Global Peace and Development Organization
Global Peace and Development Organization (GPDO), also known as Global Peace, is a nonprofit and nongovernmental organization. The Specific purposes for which GPDO is organized include, but are not limited to implementing programmers and projects designed for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, especially with a focus on peace and development.
Since its founding in 2011, Global Peace and Development Organization (GPDO) has focused on national and international advocacy, peacebuilding, and development in ending violence against children in Liberia. One of its social campaigns began in 2012, when the government of Liberia launched a national dialogue on female genital mutilation (FGM), in collaboration with traditional leaders and public+ and private institutions. The victims of FGM are mainly young girls who, before reaching puberty are subjected to the most inhumane psychological, physical, and emotional torture and lifelong trauma. However, GPDO was disappointed by actions of the Liberian Government, who failed miserably in 2013 to adopt policies that could outlaw FGM in all its forms, despite all the mounting pressures from a national coalition of CSOs and the involvement of the President of the Country, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who was elected as the first African Female President in 2005.
From 2013, GPDO joined another national campaign against domestic violence against children in Liberia where child abuse and neglect are not punishable by law. As a result, there is a new generation of violent and poor young adults who, despite being victims of this painful experience, are unaware that child abuse and neglect are serious crimes against the rights of children. Reflection on the country’s contemporary history, especially with reference to its 14 years bloody civil war in which most of the surviving 75,000 child soldiers who were disarmed, demobilized and rehabilitated end up in the streets at the end of the civil war in 2003, there are clear indications that the campaign to end domestic violence against children will need the direct involvement of the national government who has succeeded in putting an end to corporal punishment in public and private schools. Domestic violence against children became a hot topic across the country in 2015 when a mother in Lofa County, in northern Liberia burned the hand of her son for stealing $10.00 Liberian dollars, an equivalent of 0.5 cents. In recent time, a mother from River Gee County was compelled by financial constraints to end the life of her 1-year-old daughter who was born with a curable but scaring physical disorder. The father had neglected the child and left the mother struggling alone, with no quick response from government and medical NGOs who promised to help, while the child continued to cry in unending pain day and night. When the child died, the police hurriedly arrested the poor mother and charged her for 1st-degree homicide; but they had no time to investigate the whereabouts of the absent father who abandoned the child and the mother.
Another old aged and growing violence against children is sexual violence. Because women and girls were under obligation during the Liberian civil war (1989-2003) to serve warlords, rebels and their ruthless commandants as sex slaves. At the end of the civil war, sexual violence increased beyond imagination and despite being declared non-billable. The culture of impunity took its normal course at the great dismay of GPDO that joined women groups in Monrovia in 2014-2017 to raise awareness against sexual violence. Traditional and religious beliefs in early marriage with young girls under age, as part of the Liberian culture and customary laws, complicate this issue much further; but in an attempt to pressurize the Liberia government to adhere to international protocols that it signed to protect the rights of children.