The Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform has cautioned the incoming government of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to conduct its affairs with respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Adama K. Dempster, secretary-general of the Platform, who read a statement yesterday at a press conference in Monrovia, said his organization's concern is against the backdrop of past regimes which he said conducted state affairs without respect for the rights of others.
He recommended the maintenance of a safe and enabling environment for CSOs based on good practices and lessons learned from past administrations.
Elaborating on five elements as examples of good practices that could enhance CSO's transformative potential in Liberia, Dempster recommended a robust legal framework with an international standard that protects public freedoms and effective access to justice. A political environment conducive to CSO functioning; participation of CSOs in decision-making; access to information and long-term support for CSO activism are other elements CSOs require to achieve the desired impact on society, said Dempster.
"These recommendations are critical in the current political and economic climate in our setting because the issue of state capture is no longer just a redundant hypothesis, but a reality that should force all of us to be concerned," Dempster added.
He recalled how in the recent past, there were reports of 'mysterious killings' directly or indirectly associated with 'political intolerance.'
According to Dempster, the international bills on human rights set the basis for the enjoyment of basic human rights by all persons universally, "therefore the government should make no room for repression in Liberia."
Dempster assured the incoming CDC-led government of his organization's willingness to support the governance process in the promotion and protection of human rights.
He, however, said rights groups will remain in the confines of their work as a checkpoint in holding the government accountable for its actions and responsibilities in addressing human rights of its citizens and foreign residents.