5 October 2017

Liberia Gets First Rights Resource Center

As part of efforts aimed at enhancing human rights reporting mechanism as a tool, the Government of Liberia in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Women, UN Women, and United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has launched the first human rights resource center at the Ministry of Justice in Monrovia.

Speaking at the ceremony, UN Women Country Rep. Marie Goreth Nizigama said human rights reporting mechanism and tools can be used by government including civil society and development partners to promote accountability and progress towards the full realization of the rights of women and girls.

Madam Goreth Nizigama explained that UN Women recognizes the need for multi-stakeholder partnership to ensure a comprehensive approach in accelerating the ratification, domestication, implementation and reporting under implementation and reporting under relevant women's human rights instruments.

She commended Liberia's commitments to human rights by adopting and reporting on international and regional instruments that advance the rights of women including the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

She pointed out that said initiative is a result of tripartite partnership between the Ministry of Justice, UN Women and UNMIL which aims to build on the gains made.

Also speaking, Deputy Minister of Justice for Administration Cllr. Wheatonia Y. Dixon Barnes lauded partners for the support which ensured the official opening of the country's human resource center at the ministry.

Dep. Min. Dixon Barnes noted that Government established a steering committee for the purpose of drafting a plan of action to guide the protection and promotion of human rights throughout Liberia.

She said the National Human Rights Action plan was launched in 2013 with five pillars to include the protection of civil and political rights, enjoyment of economic social and cultural rights, the fulfillment of Liberia's treaty reporting obligations and the protection of vulnerable populations and human rights education and awareness.

She added that the resource center concept came from the backdrop of having a human rights focused space for the coordination of present and future human rights campaigns and activities.

Making the official launch, UNMIL DRSG for Rule of Law Waldemar Very; expressed optimism that the creation of this resource center will contribute to an improvement of Liberia's human rights situation and its human rights protection mechanisms.

He indicated that the project was made possible with funding from the assessed contributions of member states of the United Nations; adding that "this budget line provides the opportunity for peacekeeping operations like UNMIL to work with other partners, in this case UN WOMEN, to support countries like Liberia address challenges that require urgent attention. Last year UNMIL's human rights section put forward a proposal to establish this resource center and today we are here to witness this come to fruition".

As you well know, improving the national framework for protecting human rights has been one of UNMIL's key objectives since its inception

He said "May I suggest that though this Center is located within the Ministry of Justice, its resources should be made available to the public including the Judiciary, academic and; government institutions, civil society and the media. Allowing them to benefit from these resources will only put these actors in a better position to support various efforts to instill a human rights culture in Liberia" he stressed.

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