Since 2014, AMNet in partnership with FORWARD-UK a non-governmental organization based in the United Kingdom and G2G a Sierra Leonean based non-governmental organization have intensify campaigns on reducing the prevalence of Child Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Marriage (CM) at national and district levels with funds from Comic Relief. Since its inception, the program has gained traction in Bonthe, Kambia and Western Area Districts with stakeholders’ commitment to changing behaviour and attitude of community members towards reducing Harmful Traditional Practices. The messages have been very straightforward to all generations that early child marriage and child FGM frequently have adverse social consequences; they reduce a girl’s chances in life, often obstructing schooling, limiting opportunities, and making girls susceptible to the risk of teenage pregnancy, HIV infections and domestic violence. Which therefore required all efforts to end the practices!
While there is growing interest among stakeholders to help in the behavioural change campaign especially towards the reduction of child marriage and child FGM, weak law enforcement and punishment of perpetrators remains a challenge in the country.
Against this background, AMNet in collaboration with G2G and FORWARD UK organized a one-day engagement session with religious and traditional leaders, child led organisations, civil society groups and societal leader with a focus on developing a ‘Position Paper’ ON REDUCING CHILD GENITAL MUTILATION TO PREVENT CHILD MARRIAGE IN SIERRA LEONE. This paper will be presented to the new parliament for discussion and policy action to help prevent Child marriage and child FGM in communities.