A coalition of rights based groups in the country under the banner, “Liberia Initiative for the Promotion of Right Identity and Equality (LIPRIDE)” has released a policy review paper, reminding the Government of Liberia on the upholding of various human rights issues.
The coalition comprises of Action Aid Liberia (AAL), Stop AIDs In Liberia (SAIL, Liberia Women Empowerment Network (LIWEN), DOMAFEIGN (the future), National Association of Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (NATPAH), Association of ,Liberian People Living with HIV and AIDS (ALL+), Liberian National Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS (LIBNEP+), United Sisters, Leadership Institute for Women (LIW), Youth and ,Adolescents Living with HIV and AIDS (YAL+), Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation (PIRE), University of Liberia and Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL).
The group , established in March 2012, serves as a platform to support effective and meaningful participation of key affected population in the Coalition action points, financial gaps, policy, programmatic dialogues, and other activities, with a focus on social transformation as it relates to diversities, acceptance and tolerance of all marginalized groups.
Reading the report over the weekend in Sinkor, Monrovia at a Policy Review Analysis Report dialogue, a member of the coalition, Evans Adofo, outlined various human rights issues in Liberia that need to be addressed, including impact, gaps, lessons or action points required.
Mr. Adofo said the Inheritance law which only gives the right of inheritance to the boy child needs to be reviewed because the only impact the country can boast of is when it was highlighted in the CEDAW report to the human rights council of the United Nations.
He said the gap identified is the law’s failure to recognise the rights of girls, especially those perceived as lesbian women to a right of inheritance, inadequate effort to ensure actual implementation of the law and little awareness.
Mr. Adofo pointed out that the country’s rape law is also undermined and not wholistic because no portion of it calls for reprimanding those, who compromise rape cases.
The group suggested engaging various partners, including female legislative caucus at the Liberian Legislature, Female Lawyers Association of Liberia, Women NGO Secretariat, traditional leaders and the traditional council to increase awareness across the country and consider rape as a behaviour change problem.
“There is need to address rape as a behaviour change problem. The court sessions on rape trials should converge frequently to address delays in trial;there is need to establish a forensic lab for rape cases in the country and building police-community relationship in order to build confidence in the community and facilitate timely reporting and reprimanding of perpetrators of rape.” Evans quotes the report as suggesting to government and other stakeholders.Press Release