African leaders are raising awareness about the harms of pornography in Liberia for the first time.
The African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) – in collaboration with the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation (CESE) Africa and with support from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) and the International Center on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE) – has officially launched a campaign on the harms of pornography in Liberia.
The Liberian branch of this campaign was launched in Monrovia by the Coalition’s Liberian representative, A. Alvin Winford, who had earlier undertaken a six-month professional affiliation as a fellow with NCOSE in Washington D.C. in the first half of 2020. During his time as an international fellow with NCOSE, Mr. Winford worked with the NCOSE team by researching the public harms of pornography in Africa. One of the recommendations that came from the study was to challenge the harms of the digital threat of pornography in African communities.
As a part of the Liberian campaign launch event, Mr. Winford called on the participants to serve as a peer-educators in their circles in order to influence others so that society would be better protected against the vice. He provided step-by-step education on how parents and others could help protect the devices of young people against pornography. Posters and flyers were provided to the participants to provide further support. Attendees were encouraged to follow up with and contact ANPPCAN if they had any further questions.
The campaign launch, which was very colorful, was attended by a total of 97 participants (49 females and 48 males) and included young people, parents, and civil society members.
The event included helpful role play that was demonstrated by traditional cultural performances which portrayed the dangers of pornography and why people should be protected against them. Participants expressed their unflinching support for the project and pledged to reach out to others with the message. They said it was time that the silence was broken regarding the topic of pornography in Liberia. In the same light, they called on ANPPCAN to continue beyond the launch event and reach out to other communities with these messages.
Civil society members who attended the event and pledged to work in publicizing the project included Defense for Children International (DCI I), Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), Girls Excel Liberia, Social Movement for Change, and the Liberian Child Rights NGO Coalition.