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Liberia Encouraged to Ratify H’ Rights Protocol

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By Elbie Sebleh

MONROVIA: The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights recently engaged Liberian authorities, civil society and various stakeholders in the human rights sector, as part of its sensitization mission to Monrovia-Liberia.

The week-long sensitization mission was meant to raise awareness on the works of the Court and specifically encourage the Republic of Liberia to ratify the Protocol establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and deposit the special declaration under Article 34(6) to allow individuals and NGOs to access the Court directly.

During their stay in Liberia, President of the Court, Justice Imani Daud Aboud, led the delegation from the Court, together with Vice President, Justice Modibo Sacko, in lobbying Liberian key government officials and human rights actors to take a decisive step towards both the ratification and declaration.

Justice Aboud reiterated that Liberia has shown profound leadership in fostering peace and promoting democratic values in post-conflict recovery and therefore stands as an example of the infinite development possibilities on the African continent.

She, however, called on the government of Liberia and all stakeholders to see this moment as opportunity to stand in hands with The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights to create a legacy that their children will be proud.

She said a ratification and declaration by Liberia would send a powerful message across Africa, that human rights transcend boundaries and that justice knows no borders.

She added that Liberia will not only reaffirm its dedication to the rule of law and human rights but will also join the ranks of nations committed to providing their citizens with direct access to justice at the continental level,” she said.

Apart from encouraging Liberia to ratify the Protocol and deposit the Declaration, she said the visit was also to encourage the Republic of Liberia to look at the Court with requests for advisory opinions in its capacity as a Member of the African Union.

The visit is also encouraging the public in Liberia to seize the Court to settle human rights disputes.

The Court contends that ratifying the Protocol and depositing the Declaration will demonstrate Liberia’s continued commitment to the cause of human rights and as well send a strong message of deep commitment to human rights protection that will resonate throughout Africa.

The delegation has visited high-level officials such as the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Jeremiah Kpan Koung’ the Chief Justice of Liberia, Her Honor, Sie-A-Nyene Gyapay Yuoh; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Cllr Jonathan Fonati Koffa, Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs, the Liberia National Bar Association, the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law of the University of Law and other human rights institutions.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights, Dempster Brown, lauded the African Court for the week-long sensitization mission, assuring his institution’s full commitment to, at all times, ensure the protection of citizens through the rule of law in Liberia.

Cllr. Brown also expressed hope that the Government of the Liberia will ratify the protocol establishing the African Court on Human and People’s Right to allow individuals and NGOs have direct access.

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