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ECOWAS Commission holds dialogue in Monrovia

By Lewis S. Teh

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission has begun a three-day in-country high-level coordinating capacity-building workshop in Monrovia.

The workshop involves multi-stakeholders and the establishment of the ECOWAS Protection and Human Security Integrated Coordinating Mechanism.

It comes as Liberia draws closer to the conduct of the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.

At the start of the workshop in Monrovia Wednesday, 14 September 2022, ECOWAS Special Representative to Liberia Ambassador Josephine Nkrumah said human security as a concept connotes the rights of people to live in freedom and dignity.

She said this entails freedom from fear and the provision of equal opportunity to enjoy their rights and develop their human potential.

Amb. Nkrumah told the gathering that people most affected by rights and human security violations are women and children, migrants, and displaced persons including refugees and internally displaced persons.

She said intervention to address these challenges requires a coordinated approach for protection of vulnerable persons in the regional community.

She added that this is meant to address issues ranging from International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Trafficking in Person (TIP), sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and child rights, child labor, violence against children and sexual exploitation and abuse.

Ambassador Nkrumah explained that the ECOWAS Integrated Protection and Human Security Integrated approach for intervention towards building resilient systems has targeted 8 countries.

She said Liberia is inclusive to undertake high-level advocacy and capacity building, drive intervention in the areas of IHL, TIP, SGBV, Social Protection, and Drug Prevention.

According to her, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Nigeria have benefited from the very same interventions and capacity-building workshops organized and implemented by ECOWAS.

“This workshop is drawn from cross-cutting stakeholders to fashion out a harmonization of protection methodologies, synchronizing our efforts to prevent and address vulnerabilities, victimization and other related real risks,” she said.

Also giving the overview of the workshop, Mr. Osondu Ekeh, Project Officer in the Human Security and Civil Society Division, narrated that the three days workshop is a component of the ECOWAS Integrated Protection and Human Security Intervention in Liberia.

According to him, the intervention here in Liberia is a continuation of implementation of a new programming approach by the Human Security and Civil Society Division.

He said this began in 2021 and it has already taken place in Gambia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Togo and Niger.

Mr. Ekeh said the implementation for 2022 will cover eight member states including Benin, Ghana, Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Niger, Cote d’ Voire and Senegal.

Meanwhile, Liberia’s Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean extolled the ECOWAS Commission for organizing the three days capacity building workshop on the establishment of the ECOWAS Protection and Human Security Integrated Coordinating Mechanism.

He pledged the Justice Ministry’s unflinching support towards the implementation of programs on ECOWAS Humanitarian Law, TIP, and SGBV.

Cllr. Dean narrated that in fulfilling and upholding its obligation, in 2005, Liberia criminalized human trafficking by domesticating both the international and regional convention on human trafficking through an Act of the Legislature.

He added that Liberia’s 2005 TIP was further strengthened by its amendment that includes money laundering and illegal migrant labor 2013. –Edited by Winston W. Parley

NewDawn

The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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