President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has by Proclamation declared January 16, 2018 as “ECOWAS Human Rights Day” and it’s to be observed throughout the Republic as a “Working Holiday”.
The Liberian leader has called upon all citizens and foreign residents, national and international organizations and all concerned Government agencies to join the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INHCR) and execute appropriate programs befitting the observance of the day.
A Foreign Ministry release said, the official celebration of this year ECOWAS Human Rights Day will take place on January 16 and 17, 2018, at the Bella Casa Hotel on Tubman Boulevard under the international theme: “The Right to Education” and the national theme: “The Right to Education – A Must for Every Liberian Citizen”.
In June 2016, Her Excellency Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia was elected as Chairperson at the 49th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in Dakar, Senegal.
The 77th Ordinary Meeting of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, held on December 15, 2016 in Abuja, Nigeria, recommended to the 50th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government held on December 17, 2016, which unanimously endorsed January 16 of each year to be observed as ECOWAS Human Rights Day to promote human rights and inclusive governance mainly with regards to women and youths.
This day is symbolic in the Region as it marks the ascension to power of Her Excellency Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as President of Liberia and the first African Woman Head of State.
The Republic of Liberia is a founding member of ECOWAS which expresses strong commitment to the principles of human rights and has established an Independent National Commission of Human Rights (INHCR), by an Act of the National Legislature in 2005.
In 2006, Her Excellency made it an inclusive priority to include women in the reconstruction process of Liberia with women heading key government ministries, agencies, county structures and foreign missions.