Human Rights’ CSOs Convene Stakeholders Confab Today

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Liberia’s Human Rights’ Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in collaboration with Finn Church Aid (FCA) and the Center for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), with support from the European Union (EU), are convening a one-day national stakeholders conference on November 7 in Monrovia, a release has said.

Today’s conference, according to the release, is to increase awareness on the recommendations from the Concluding Observations adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) on Liberia, and to explore opportunities for the Liberian State to implement the recommendations.

The UN Human Rights Committee is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by  State parties. All State parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations.”

Following Liberia’s report on its implementation of the ICCPR and the 123rd Review Session of the ICCPR by the UN Human Rights Committee, which took place on July 9 and 10, 2018, the Committee adopted its concluding observations on Liberia, which highlighted recommendations made by the Liberian CSOs.

The UN Human Rights Committee’s Concluding Observations outline concerns and set out appropriate measures to be taken by the government on a range of issues, including Liberia’s Constitutional and legal framework; non-discrimination and gender equality; harmful practices and gender-based violence; rights of the child; administration of justice and fair trial; prison conditions; conduct of police officers and excessive use of force; death penalty; trafficking in persons and forced labor; freedom of expression; impunity and past human rights violations, or participation in public affairs and customary land.

In other developments, the UN Human Rights Committee, in keeping with rule 71, paragraph 5 of the Committee’s rules of procedure, requested the Liberian government to provide by July 27, 2020, information on the implementation of the recommendations made by the Committee.

The HRC also requested the government to widely disseminate the ICCPR, Liberia’s report on its implementation of the ICCPR, and the Committee’s concluding observations with a view to raising awareness of the rights enshrined in the ICCPR among the judicial, legislative and administrative authorities, civil society and non-governmental organizations operating in the country, and the general public.

Today’s confab is expected to bring together various stakeholders from governmental and non-state actors working on human rights-related issues, with the aim of finding ways in which the different sectors can work together and advance their common cause towards ensuring the implementation of the recommendations included in the Committee’s concluding observations.

The civil society and human rights community have, therefore, called on the Liberian government to fully implement the recommendations set forth in the UN HRC Concluding Observations and also assure that  follow-up mechanisms are being put into place by the civil society and human rights community, to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights and  foster respect for the rule of law in the country.

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