The Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia has intensified its call for the Government of Liberia to comply with the concluding observations adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as the full implementation of its recommendations.
The CSOs’ call comes in the wake of the United Nations Human Rights Committee’s consideration of Liberia’s initial reports at its 305 and 3451 meetings held in July, 2018 in Swaziland. The committee, according to the CSOs, adopted its concluding observations which highlighted recommendations made by the Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia, CSO groups and other stakeholders.
Adama K. Dempster, secretary-general of the CSO Platform, told journalists at a news conference held in Monrovia on Wednesday, August 1, that it is about time that the government fully implements these recommendations set forth by the UN concluding observations, while assuring that a follow-up mechanism is being put in place by CSOs and the human rights community, to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights that would foster the rule of law in the country.
According to him, the group has highlighted one of the recommendations on impunity and past human rights violations, which have been selected by the UNHRC as a priority for full follow-up procedures.
He noted the committee further welcomes the progress made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), but expressed concern that none of the alleged perpetrators of gross human rights violations and war crimes mentioned in the reports has been brought to justice.
He reminded the Government of Liberia of its huge obligations, most especially issues in the reports that note with concern the absence of a comprehensive program of reparations, to ensure that the TRC recommendations, which remain a challenge, is fully implemented.
“We however re-emphasized our call for the government to issue a statement without further delay, to outline progress in the implementation of the TRC recommendations and to commit to the prosecution of past crimes as part of such statements,” he stated in the release.
The group, in its press statement, further called on the Liberian government to institute a process of accountability for past gross human rights violations and war crimes, to conform to international standards.
It also recommends the government ensure the expertise of the judiciary, which will give victims an access to justice, due process and fair trial, among others that were also outlined in the statement.
It may be recalled early this year, Liberia presented a shadow report and elaborated upon its participation in the 123th Section in Geneva. Following its reports, the UN Human Rights Committee’s concluding observations outlined concerns and set out appropriate measures to be taken by the Liberian government on a range of issues, including Liberia’s constitutional and legal framework, the financial resources and the process of appointing commissioners and chairpersons of the Independent Commission on Human Rights.
It also pointed out the issues of impunity and past human rights violations, non-discrimination and gender equality, harmful practices and gender-based violence, the death penalty, conduct of police officers and excessive use of force, trafficking in persons and forced labor, prison conditions, administration of justice and fair trials, freedom of expression, rights of a child, participation in public affairs and customary lands.