NAYMOTE executive director Jarwolo: “Establishing respect for the rule of law is fundamental to achieving durable peace in the aftermath of Liberia’s conflict…
The Rule of Law Collaborative at the University of South Carolina held a three-day round table symposium recently in Cape Town, South Africa, to examine issues that are related to youth and the rule of law.
The Naymote Partners for Democratic Development, a Liberia based research and advocacy organization, was represented by its executive director, Eddie Jarwolo.
The event, according to a release, brought together leaders and stakeholders from within the U.S. Government, regional governments, multilateral organizations, NGOs, academia, and the private sector to focus on the specific link between youth and the rule of law in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The symposium organized participants into three thematic working groups of Youth and Justice, Youth and the Security Sector, and Youth and the Economy.
Working Group A examined issues such as access to justice for youth and rights-based education; Working Group B looked at issues of policing and corrections, as well as youth engagement with security sector institutions; and Working Group C discussed economic opportunity for youth and the role of corruption, among other topics.
Each Working Group considered ways in which youth can present opportunities and challenges for rule of law programs, as well as ways in which that area of focus interacts with those of the other two Working Groups.
At the end of the symposium, each Working Group presented to the plenary a set of recommendations addressed to governments in the region, international donors including U.S. Government agencies, multilateral and civil society organizations inside and outside the region.
JUSTRAC is committed to turning discussion into actionable policy. The Rule of Law Collaborative (JUSTRAC) will publish a Final Report with recommendations from symposium participants.
The Rule of Law Collaborative at the University of South Carolina is widely recognized as one of the United States’ leading centers for the study of rule of law and the training of public-and private-sector rule of law personnel.
With countries across Sub-Saharan Africa facing crises in their justice systems, the Rule of Law Collaborative at the University of South Carolina offers young people and security sector stakeholders the greatest opportunity and the greatest challenge to development and security.
The symposium pointed out that youth can drive economic growth and can serve as a force for innovation and they can also offer support for governance and political reforms.
The participants learned that unsettled youth populations could be a destabilizing force in light of increased unemployment levels, increased urbanization, and the potential to challenge state authority.
Eddie Jarwolo, NAYMOTE executive director who participated in the symposium, said there is an urgent need to develop programs that foster youth understanding and access to justice and rule of law.
He said the drawdown of UNMIL troops in Liberia leaves security gaps in view of social tensions in the run-up to October 2017 presidential and legislative elections due to high levels of unemployment, vulnerability of young people and mixed feelings relating to the implementation of the national code of conduct.
Liberia, he said, would need a program that will educate youth on the concept of the rule of law and civic engagement that will integrate schools to reach youth in marginalized communities and establish a police and students’ engagements program to help young people to understand the rule of engagements and the criminal justice system.
Mr. Jarwolo said NAYMOTE through the Young Political Leadership School seeks support to start a program to instruct school administrators and students on the rule of law and access to justice, to help young people understand the criminal justice system, the rule of engagements and police and youth relationship.
This, he said, will ensure a more inclusive, fair and democratic society as the nation moves towards a critical period of transition from one postwar administration to another.
Mr. Jarwolo said establishing respect for the rule of law is fundamental to achieving a durable peace in the aftermath of Liberia’s conflict, the effective protection of human rights, and sustained economic progress and development.