Promises to Ensure that rights prevail
The Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) over the weekend celebrated Africa Human Rights Day, promising to ensure that human rights is at the center of everything done throughout Africa.
Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms of every person from birth until death. They apply regardless of where you are from, what you believe or how you choose to live your life. Those rights can never be taken away, although they can sometimes be restricted – for example, when a person breaks the law, or in the interests of national security.
The day was celebrated at the William V. S. Tubman High school under the theme, “Enhancing Youth Contribution Towards Effective Implementation of the Action Plan of the Human and People’s Rights Decade in Africa.” The day is celebrated on October 21 every year throughout Africa to ensure that the rights and freedoms of every citizen are protected.
This year the INCHR celebration looks at the youth as the drivers of change in every African society as they constitute 60 percent of Africa’s 1 billion population with the view that if the youth take part in human rights then the future of promoting and protecting them can move forward.
Marcel Akpove, chief of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Human Rights and Protection Section, through a proxy, said “This is the time for the young people to take center stage in protecting human rights in Africa, because people’s rights are being violated around the world and Africa is no different.”
Akpove said that youth in Africa face underemployment and lack skills and education; a situation that is preventing them from participating in the promotion of human rights. He said this is the reason why the African Union (AU) decided to focus this year’s theme on the youth.
He said if 60 percent of the population is not participating in what is happening in Africa, then it is a troubling result that may lead to disaster that needs to be addressed in order to secure the future of the younger generation.
The deputy head of AU Mission, Prosper Addo, said the day is about giving value to human life, and getting the youth involved in society, “because it is important to know what human rights is all about.”
Mr. Addo then challenged the youth that after the day’s celebration, they must play a major role in promoting the right of others.
He said human rights can be successful through constant awareness and knowing what it is about, and how important it is to the growth of the society where the action plan gives the youth their role in promoting and making decisions for the promotion and upholding of the human rights of all.
Mr. Addo said that impressive efforts have been made in Africa to promote and protect people’s rights, and how to contribute to enhancing the rights of others.
In Liberia, he stressed the importance of maintaining the peace as citizens go to the second round of elections, noting that where one’s rights ends the rights of others begin.