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OHCHR Country Rep. Urges Gov’t

The Country Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, Uchenna Emelonye has challenged National Government to now look at crafting necessary policies including legal instrument that will benefit the already suffering masses.

Emelonye warned national actors not to develop policies that will further affect the livelihood of the poor people as well as widening the already huge gap between the rich and the poor.

He referred to the Business and Human Rights Arm which he noted is key to said endeavor.

Though there is not an available national framework on Business and Human Rights in Liberia, but the “OHCHR” boss expects that such crucial document can be put in place by the relevant authorities or arms of government to begin the process of ensuring that the right things are done.

Liberia is a signatory to the Business and Human Rights index and the government is said to be working in such direction, however the Human Rights expert observed that more needs to be done.

According to him, they are constructively campaigning on those things that the Liberian Government agreed to work on in a bid to promote and protect Human Rights issues in Liberia.

Process he said is important than results in Human Rights and as such, he wants the pro poor government to take keen interest in procedural gains rather than financial gains.

By procedural gains, he meant that it is time that the poor people be protected and as well benefit more than been suppressed by the power that be.

Speaking at a two-day Business and Human Rights Workshop, the “OHCHR” Head encouraged civil society actors to remind government to go beyond the bigger picture of society, Profit and technology issues in Business and now take into consideration issues that are associated with human rights violations.

He acknowledged that the business community has played and continues to play a vital role in the rebuilding process of Liberia and other African Countries, however he was quick to mention that they are as well doing some unintended harm mainly in the business and human right sector, which he added needs to be address for the benefit of the people in general.

In a drive to effectively engage the government in such direction Emelonye called on Civil Society actors to now build a very strong antennae to challenge government and hold them accountable on issues of human rights and other national issues including looking more at procedural gains especially by promoting and protecting the rights of all including human dignity rather than selfish profit at the detriment of the poor.

He stressed that gone are the days where the poor were sacrificed adding that one of the aims of the two days session is to ensure that the already wide gap between the rich and the poor be closed than to be widen as business as usual.

At the end of the two days session, it is expected that participants along with the relevant authorities of government identify workable framework to promote and protect business and human right related issues across the country.

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