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INCHR vows to combat forced marriage, child abuse

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The Acting chairman for the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) Rev. Bartholomew B. Colley says the dignity of all citizens should be ensured if Liberia is to continuously enjoy peace.He says all human beings have rights and should be protected by the State.

According to Rev. Colley, the mission of the INCHR is to protect rights of all citizens and non-residents against forced marriage, child abuse and any forum of violence against women and girls.
The INCHR Acting boss spoke on Monday, 10 December in Ganta, Nimba County during official celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Human Rights day, which coincided with the official end of 16 days of Activism under the theme: Still working to ensure freedom, equality and dignity for all and sustaining the peace by ensuring dignity for all.

The International Human Rights Day condemns all harmful traditional practices against women including FGM in line with Article (5) of the Maputo Protocol on Women’s Rights.The celebration brought together several government officials and partners from outside the country with slogan such as “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Various speakers, including the Deputy Representative of United Nations Women, Madam Sangetta Thapa, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Ms Piso Saydee Tarr, the Country Representative for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Uchenna Emelonye and the United Nations Resident Coordinator Yacoub El Hillo, all joined the INCHR in combating violence against women and girls, including child abuse, among others.

Gender Minister Tarr says her ministry stands blue to fight any form of violence against women and girls, including children in work places, schools and churches, among others, while Mr. Yacoub, who read a special statement on behalf of the United Nations Secretary General, pledges to work with women in combating violence against women and girls, including children.

According to him, women and girls, including children will be their focus in the country.Speaking at the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Liberia’s Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, renews government’s unflinching commitment to protecting rights of every citizen and foreign resident within the territorial confines of the Republic of Liberia, including women, children and the behaviorally and mentally challenged people.

Minister Dean laments that Liberia being a nation that suffered civil conflict where fundamental rights were virtually non-existent, there is need to establish and develop institutions to safeguard and strengthen various human rights institutions in ensuring rights of ordinary Liberians are protected.

He assures the government of President George Weah will continue to protect, strengthen and support human rights institutions as a means of advancing and protecting rights of citizens throughout the country.

Minister Dean continues that this process allows state parties of the United Nations to take stock of their human rights records and to engage in constructive dialogues with the human rights council, providing information on what legal or administrative steps government has taken to give effect to the rights contained in the various international human rights institutions.

He says the country first report on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been finalized and is awaiting validation for subsequent submission to the committee on disabilities for review.

He discloses that the human rights resource center has been established under a project proposal funded by UNMIL and the United Nations Women.The Attorney General further discloses that the government of President Weah has renewed its unflinching commitment to protecting rights of every citizens and foreign residents, including women and children within the country.

By Thomas Domah/Nimba–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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