–Set To Deploy Human Rights Officers In Liberia’s 15 Counties
By Mark Mengonfia
The Civil Society human rights advocacy platform through its technical working group says it is deploying human rights officers in the field to report weekly on rights violation during the remaining days of the COVID-19 and after.
Speaking Tuesday in Congo Town at the launch of the CSO Human Rights Advocacy Platform- technical working group Human Rights perspective of COVID-19 19 pandemic, Adama K. Dempster said” putting our plan into action, a Monitoring template has been developed to guide all human rights officers in the field to report.”
The CSO Platform Secretary General Dempster said on the basis of the human rights community intervention, they are tasked to monitor, investigate the impact of COVID-19 on the livelihood of citizens.
Some of the basic things the group said they are going to be looking for during their period of monitoring are the economic, social aspect before the State of Emergency, during the State of Emergency and after the state of emergency in Liberia.
Mr. Dempster said “this is using human rights framework within the context of the management of COVID-19 pandemic through the medium of emergency powers and rights limitations, government obligations under regional and international human rights laws.”
Dempster intoned that as part of their work, they will as well lookout for violation of fundamental freedoms which are prolonged or arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, ill-treatment in the context of arrest and detention, undue restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, reprisal or intimidation.
He went on to say that “other human rights concerns such as monitoring of decongestion of prison and detention facilities, monitoring of the protection of Health care workers and Humanitarian personnel, monitoring of food aid distribution, monitoring of financial aid assistance, if any.”
The Liberian rights advocate also indicated that they will also monitor the administration of justice and accountability to include if citizens are violating the SOE being sent to court or has there been any court action against those individuals.
“Are there laws on the book to charge vehicles violating the SOE issued a ticket to pay certain amount of money to government revenue by the police, should citizens violate the SOE, what measures has been taken against security officers in the habit of brutalizing citizens during the SOE” the CSO Platform SG said are some of the focus of their work during the COVID-19 pandemic in Liberia.
The Civic society Human Rights platform received its support for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.
Also speaking during the launch was a representative from the OHCHR who congratulated the CSO Human Rights Advocacy platform for leading the official launch of the COVID-19 Human Rights Monitoring work in Liberia.
Ebai Emetine , OHCHR- Liberia Human Rights officer said civil society organizations are important partners who often remind States on their obligations to respect and promote human rights.
“OHCHR is grateful to the Embassy of Sweden that has supported the work towards the promotion and protection of human rights in Liberia. OHCHR is delighted to partner with CSO Human Rights Advocacy platform, as well as the other partners in monitoring and documenting the human rights impact of COVID-19 in Liberia” madam Emetine said.
She used the launching to commend the platform and other partners for their efforts in ensuring that human rights issues and concerns are brought to the fore in Liberia.
Emetine also said “On behind of the OHCHR Liberia Country Representative, I congratulate the CSO Human Rights Advocacy Platform. As CSO Human Rights platform and all partners work towards the protection of human rights, let us remember to observe all protocols, health and safety measures as provided by the GOL”.