UNMIL calls on Liberia to expedite domestication of international human rights treaties

October 4, 2017 Monrovia - UNMIL Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Rule of Law, Waldemar Vrey today at the launch of the Human Rights Resource Centre at the Ministry of Justice said that lack of domestication of international human rights treaties continues to draw Liberia back.

DSRSG singled out the gender-based violence, the harmful traditional practices and the prolonged detention of suspects in prison custody as areas that need urgent attention by Liberia. “Domestication of international treaties to which Liberia is signatory to as well as reporting on these treaties continues to be behind schedule,” said Mr. Vrey.
He said that impunity for SGBV crimes in Liberia is very prevalent, totally unacceptable and must be condemned by all, while measures are taken to actively address this. The practice of harmful traditional practices is well document as a serious human rights issue in Liberia. Prolong detention of suspects in prison custody is totally unacceptable and in need of urgent and creative action, within the law.

He added that the creation of this resource centre will contribute to improvement of Liberia’s human rights situation and its human rights protection mechanisms. He suggested that although the centre 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. This he said will put these actors in a better position to support various efforts to encourage a human rights culture in Liberia.

The launch of the Human Rights Resource Centre is a follow-up to a donation of equipment and publications to the centre through UNMIL assessed funding in early September, under the treaty reporting obligations project with UNWOMEN as implementing partner.  UNMIL supports the Government of Liberia in implementing its National Strategy for meeting Regional and International Human Rights Treaty Obligations, which has created a National Body on Treaty Obligations.
The centre will serve as a human rights-focused space where members of the national mechanism will utilize for preparation of reports.  It will also be used in conducting human rights trainings and holding technical working sessions and awareness.

The UN Women Liberia Country Representative, Marie Goreth Nizigama seized the occasion to reaffirm UN Women’s commitment to supporting the full implementation of gender equality agenda in Liberia, particularly in meeting the various human rights obligations, as well as implementation of the various recommendations made by treaty bodies and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

The Deputy Justice Minister for Administration and Public Safety, Ms. Wheatonia Dixon-Barnes and UNMIL Chief of Human Rights and Protection, Mr. Marcel Akpovo also attended the event.