- Posted by Modou S. Joof on May 24, 2010 at 6:00pm
May 22, 2010 by sengbeh - sengbeh.wordpress.com
The 2003 Accra Peace Agreement, which brought
Independent National Commission on Human Rights Act was passed into law. Yet five years on, the government and parliament still have not established a human rights commission in
“The government’s failure to establish the Human Rights Commission has stymied progress in protecting human rights in
effective Human Rights Commission would help foster a culture of human rights in a country scarred by war, violence, and impunity.”
The Liberian government’s failure to establish the commission undermines
While plans to establish the commission remain in limbo, the country has experienced ongoing violence and internecine conflict, striking deficiencies in judiciary, police, and corrections operations, vigilante justice, and high incidence of rape of women and girls.
It is just such problems that the commission would be designed to address, the advocacy groups claimed.
Establishment of the Human Rights Commission has met repeated roadblocks over the past five years. Most recently, in February 2010, the Liberian Senate rejected all proposed commissioners without offering any public explanation – and rejected them a second time in March, after the names were resubmitted in a last-ditch attempt to salvage the process.
A new, reconstituted vetting committee headed by a member of the erstwhile
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International called on the Liberian government to help ensure the success of the new committee by making public the official budget and time frame for vetting commissioners, involving civil society in the process and ensuring that the committee’s work will be fully transparent. The groups further urged the Liberian Senate to consider the confirmation of nominated commissioners individually and not as a group.
“We are concerned that the selection process for commissioners is not adequately transparent with respect to process, time-frames, budgets, guidelines, or civil society consultation,” Higonnet said. Under the Independent National Commission for Human Rights Act, the commission is mandated to monitor and report on human rights violations in
Some of the recommendations, including the establishment of a hybrid international-national tribunal to prosecute individuals for serious crimes committed during the armed conflict, and the barring from public
office of former supporters of the warring factions, have sparked considerable controversy.