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For mal-practice: Prez. Sirleaf halts operations of Bureau of Vital Statistics

By Patrick Flomo
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare

(mylbsonline.com/Liberia)-Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has ordered the suspension of normal operations of the Bureau of Vital Statistics at the Health Ministry for one month.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Johnson-Sirleaf has also ordered the suspension of birth certificates issuance for the same period.

The President said: “I have directed the Justice Ministry to constitute a special investigative committee to probe the issuance of birth certificates at the bureau.”

“The Investigative Committee will submit its findings to   the President under the supervision of the Justice Ministry and the Liberia National Police, she said.

The release is quoted as saying the Liberian Leader issued the directive recently when she met with officials of the Ministries of Justice and Health, and the Liberia National Police at the Foreign Ministry.

The Liberian Leader took the actions Monday, July 1, 2013 during her meeting wwith the heads of the three government entities at her Foreign Ministry office in Monrovia.

During the meeting, President Johnson-Sirleaf told the Ministers of Health and Justice, Dr. Walter Gwenigale and Christina Tarr, as well as Acting Police Director, Rose Stryker, that the existing lapses associated with the issuance of birth and death certificates are enhancing the incidence of human trafficking in Liberia. 

The findings of the Special Investigative Committee, according to the release, will put the government in better position to institute appropriate measures to strengthen the procedures associated with the issuance of birth and death certificates.

Reports say Liberia is a source, transit and destination country for forced labor, human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

“They are trafficked to Liberia from Sierra Leone, Cote d’ I voire, Guinea, and from Liberia to Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria for domestic servitude, street vending, sexual exploitation and agricultural labor, the release noted.

Meanwhile, Police in Monrovia have arrested a 53-year old Guinean national, Zoare Lamah, who had entered the country with two minors and later recruited one in Liberia.

Police preliminary investigation has revealed that the Guinean national has already obtained birth certificates from the Bureau of Vital Statistics before proceeding to the Passport Division with the three children to obtain Liberian passport for the minors, when authorities alerted the police.

According to the police preliminary investigation, Mr. Lamah successfully manipulated the system and changed the children’s birthplace from Conakry, Guinea to Bong County, Liberia at the Bureau of Vital Statistics.

 


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