United Nations Human Rights Supports Ministry of Justice In resuscitating Liberia’s National Mechanism for Reporting and Follow-up

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Gbarnga, Bong County – The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is supporting the Ministry of Justice to convene a two-day training workshop for stakeholders on the National Mechanism on Reporting and Follow-up (NMRF).

According to the OHCHR, this initiative is intended to resuscitate the National Mechanism for Reporting and Follow-up in Liberia and build the capacity of a body of technical experts dedicated to writing and drafting Liberia’s report to Human Rights Council Committees and Treaty Bodies.

The process also forms part of OHCHR’s mandate under its International Mechanism thematic pillar to ensure that the state is compliant with International Human Rights Reporting Obligations.

Speaking at the start of the training on Thursday March 12, a Human Rights Officer of UN Human Rights, Francis IGIRIOGU stated that the initiative will create a sense of ownership on the part of these Liberians that participate in the process.

“The process is also a reminder to states that there is time for them to account on how they have implemented the Human Rights obligations they subscribed to by showing verifiable evidence of such implementation,” he said.

He stressed that those appointed by their ministries and agencies should see this as a call to national duties which requires dedication and sacrifice.   

Mr. IGIRIOGU disclosed that the UN Human Rights office is aware that Liberia still has many reports pending for different treaty bodies, and some of these bodies have not even received Liberia’s Initial report like the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights pursuant to the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

 “The situation should improve, and it is the reason why the UN Human Rights Office is supporting Liberia in resuscitating the National Mechanism for Reporting and Follow up to be actively involved in leading the process of data gathering and drafting of human rights mechanism reports. This will ensure that backlog of Liberia treaty report will be cleared out in no distance time.”

Meanwhile, the Director for Human Rights at the Ministry of Justice, Kutaka D. Togbah lauded the UN Human Rights for the initiative and recounted several others the office has carried out to support the Government through the Ministry of Justice to strengthen Liberia’s National Human Rights Mechanism.

He named the drafting and submission of Liberia’s third Cycle UPR report to the Human Rights Council, the State report to the Human Rights Committee as it concerns implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the State Report to the Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities regarding implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) amongst others.

Director Togbah urged the participants to be committed as their work will enable Liberia’s regional and international human rights reporting obligations are promptly carried out. 

National Mechanism on Reporting and Follow-up (NMRF) – is a government structure/platform that tracks its implementation of regional and international human rights mechanism obligation.

This body collects data and monitors government implementation of recommendations from different human rights mechanisms to ensure timely reporting.

Participants of the training includes 50 staff members of relevant ministries, agencies and commissions (MACs) of government.

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