As human rights issues ranging from physical attacks to prevention of free movements become imminent in the Liberian public space, Civil Society Organization Human Rights Platform, a conglomeration of rights groups, is gearing up to intensify awareness in the areas of human rights violations and monitoring across the country.
Adama Dempster, secretary-general of the organization, told journalists that they are formulating plans to implement a robust monitoring on issues of protests, peace, and security including the national budget of the government. The three-day retreat where Mr. Dempster made the disclosure was held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, and was supported by the United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHR).
In a view appearing to be supportive to the December 30 planned protest by the Council of Patriots, Dempster said it is the right of citizens to peacefully protest under international laws, but with responsibility for the organizers of such protest to fully inform the public on their activities relating to their protest.
He also brought to the attention of the government that it is its responsibility to provide security for the protesters in line with international protocols on human rights.
Dempster in an overview said as part of the organization’s efforts to review its overall programs with members across the country, the leadership along with its partner was able to organize a retreat.
To achieve the goals being set by the rights group, Dempster said participants were able to formulate new action plans that will allow them coordinate with partners and the government through the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) and the OCHR to intensify their advocacy and monitoring on those basic rights that included health, peace and security, education and the economy.
The Board Chairman of the Civil Society Organization On Human Rights Platform and head of the Prison Fellowship Liberia, Rev. Frances Kollie, said in 2020 the civil society on human rights will hold people and government accountable for those human rights abuses within the borders of the country.
He said holding people accountable for human rights violations needs collective efforts, adding that, “one voice cannot make a change, it is the organization’s objective to strengthen our force in the fight to protect human rights in line with best international principles.”
Challenging participants of the retreat about their duty, Rev. Kollie said the right CSOs will not relent in unearthing those human rights abuses, but will ensure that they are addressed in line with the rule of law. In the midst of challenging justice system, Rev. Kollie assured that CSOs will ensure that human rights violations will no longer be kept under the carpet, but given justice.