RAL, OHCHR Launch Partnership Project To Abolish FGM

By Simeon S. Wiakanty

Rescue Alternatives Liberia (RAL) in collaboration with the office of the High Commission on Human Rights (OHCHR) on July 10, 2019, launched a partnership project aimed at reviewing recommendations Liberia accepted under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to abolished, among other practice the female genital mutilation (FGM).

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But one of the speakers interestingly raised concerned about the practice accepted by the developed world to include same-sex marriage, including gay marriage.

The UPR is the United Nations system that can be used to review the human rights records of member countries every four years. The launch of the “Compliance to Treaties Bodies” project brought together representatives of the Liberia National Bar Association, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) and Traditional Council respectively.

The project is to research and identify barriers to timely reporting (by government and CSOs), and identify civil society gaps in capacity building to monitor treaty bodies’ recommendations; strengthen CSOs’ engagement in monitoring compliance with treaty reporting and implementation; and coordinate the drafting and submission of the 3rd NGOs report to, and engage with the UPR process.

RAL National Coordinator, Sam M. Nimely, informed the gathering that by 2020, Liberia records on human rights will be reviewed, “because this exercise will be the third cycle.”

Nimely said there are documents (treaties) that the Liberian government has ratified over the years, and were accepted, “but the government now has an obligation to comply with the international community in the implementation of those documents.”

He said the project is going to be used to identify some of the relevant government, national and international institutions to ensure that these recommendations are implemented.

“We are going to do a comprehensive report,” he said. It is also expected that Liberia’s human rights’ records will be reviewed in May 2020 in Geneva at the convention.

“I can assure you that representatives of the CSOs will be there to present an independent and objective report,” Nimely said.

Under the UPR recommendations, there are several other suggestions that other countries made to Liberia, likewise Liberia to other countries.

In the 3rd cycle of the UPR process, which is due on May 2020, the government is to submit a national report on how it should be holding national consultations leading to the drafting of the national report.

Mr. Nmely said that there are several important recommendations that Liberia accepted, among them the abolishment of torture and the practice female genital mutilation (FGM)/ female circumcision or cutting.

RAL is a local human rights organization, which has over the years provided alternatives to enhancing human rights, rule of law, peace and built democracy and help with victim’s recovery.

Chief Momo Kiazolu, National Traditional Council vice chairman for Chief Affairs, said that traditional people have already agreed to do away with the practice FGM, but have asked the UN Women to give “us chance, because this is a culture that brought the country to where we are today. It not something that can just be abolished abruptly.”

Chief Kiazolu said since Liberia is a member of the international community, and therefore, it has to meet up with its international obligations. He, however, frowned on same-sex marriage, which he believes is equally harmful to God Almighty.

Source: Observer

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