President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by proclamation declared Saturday, October 21, as “African Union Human Rights Day” (AUHRD), which was observed here as a Working Holiday.
According to a release dated 21 October, President Sirleaf calls on all citizens and foreign residents, national and international organizations and all government agencies concerned to join the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) in executing appropriate programs befitting the observance of the day.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the commemoration is to continuously awaken greater awareness of the African people and the international community about the value of life and humanity and to renew a collective commitment to protect and uphold fundamental human rights.
“This day is symbolic as it expresses the gratitude of the partnership and continued collaboration aimed at strengthening the cooperation between the Department of Political Affairs of the African Union Commission, the Secretariat of the Network of the African National Human Rights institutions (NANHRIs) and Independent National
Commission on Human Rights and the Liberian people,” the proclamation further states.
President Sirleaf says she sees the annual celebration of the AUHRD as an opportunity to reflect and recommit to the solemn undertaking by African leaders and the African people to promote and safeguard human and peoples’ rights.
She notes the existence of this human rights standard and the guarantee of the promotion, protection and respect for human rights by state parties form the basis for the commemoration of the African Human Rights Day on 21 October each year.
Liberia has signed the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and is a member of the Network of the African National Human Rights Institutions.
The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights came into force on October 21, 1986, mandating state parties to promote, protect and respect Human and Peoples’ Rights in Africa.–Press