Thursday, June 20, 2024

Liberia: INCHR Boss Dempster Brown Calls for Urgency in Addressing GBV Prevention and Response in Liberia

Monrovia — The Chairperson of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR), Cllr. Dempster Brown, has stressed the need for urgency in tackling forms of Sexual-Based Violence (GBV) in Liberia. Cllr. Brown made the statement over the weekend at a one-day validation session on the Human Rights Advocacy Strategy for Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Prevention and Response, hosted by the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL) and its partners.

In his remarks, the INCHR Chairperson stated that gender-based violence is a violation of human rights that affects individuals, families, and communities. He emphasized that the government of Liberia has a collective responsibility to eradicate GBV and ensure justice for all survivors.

“Liberia is a member of the Maputo Protocol and is charged with protecting the rights of all citizens, especially the rights of women and children. As Chairperson of the INCHR, I am empowered to protect the rights of everyone, including the women of this country,” said Cllr. Brown.

He further expressed concern about the widespread humiliation and sexual harassment of women at job sites, stating that it is completely unacceptable and needs to be exposed.

The validation session, which aimed to address pressing issues of GBV and develop an inclusive framework to tackle all forms of human rights violations in Liberia, took place at the Bella Cassa Hotel in Monrovia, organized by AFELL.

Stakeholders attending the session included representatives from civil society organizations, government officials, and international agencies. The participants engaged in productive discussions, sharing their expertise and experiences to shape a comprehensive strategy to combat GBV and violence against women and girls, as well as provide effective support to survivors.

As part of their advocacy strategy, the group has developed a plan to seek financial and technical support from the Spotlight Initiative through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

AFELL’s 1st Vice President and Officer-In-Charge, Atty. Bowoulo T. Kelly, specified that the advocacy strategy is primarily intended to aid AFELL’s interventions in preventing and responding to GBV issues using comprehensive, multifactorial, and multi-level approaches.

Atty. Kelly emphasized that the strategy will be utilized by AFELL as a tool to advocate for the protection of women, girls, and marginalized groups from all forms of violence. It will also aim to reinforce legal mechanisms that protect women and girls and ensure accountability for GBV in Liberia.