Liberia: Green Advocate International, Partners Launch Community Advocacy for Land and Livelihood Support to Defend Human Rights on Rubber Plantations
Monrovia – Green Advocates International (GAI) Alliance for Rural Democracy (ARD) Natural Resource Women Platform (NRWP) has officially launched the Community Advocacy for Land and Livelihood Support (CALL) project in the country.
The project which was launched under the theme: “Communities Defend Human Rights with in Rubber Concession,” will be implemented in Margibi, Bong and Grand Bassa Counties to defend human rights on rubber plantations.
The project when implemented, will help improve the social cohesion among aggrieved communities as well as promoting stronger community leadership; among others.
It will also aid in promoting community engagement practices on non-violent approach, enhance collective advocacy with communities; recruit new members in unity and one voice to improved supportive environment for community-based human rights. The project will last for three years.
Speaking during the launch of the project, the head of programs at Green Advocates International, Francis K. Colee reminded concessionaires and other that human rights advocates that they are not enemies, but are working for the good of the society
He said: “We are not enemies to government or companies; we work with stakeholders, communities and companies were they can make profit and for the dwellers to benefit.”
Also making remarks at the occasion, the Chairman of Yeabamah National Congress for Human Rights- a community based advocacy group at Salala Rubber Corporation in Margibi and Bong Counties accused the company of considering human rights defenders as enemies; thus calling on the Government of Liberia for intervention.
“We, human rights defenders are ill-treated by the Salala Rubber Cooperation (SRC). They see us enemies and we hardly move freely because of many accusing fingers that they point at us on a daily basis,” he said.
“We want President George Weah to join GAI and its international partners to deliver us from slavery at Salala Rubber Company; they are ill-treating us, they saying they give our government money” Abraham Kamara said.
Responding to Kamara at the launch, Jallah Mensah- a representative of Salala Rubber Cooperation expressed sadness over the way Kamara and others are being treated by the company.
According to Mensah, they have engage communities and they are incorporating outsiders in their school system and paying minimum fees.
In remark, the Deputy Minister of operations at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, R. Matenokay Tingban commended the organizers for the initiative, pledging the Ministry’s commitment in working with them to improve the livelihoods of rural communities and citizens across the country.