MONROVIA – The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has donated five motorbikes to the Independent National Human Rights Commission (INCHR) to strengthen the Commission’s in monitoring and documenting human rights cases, especially those perpetrated against women and girls.
By Gerald C. Koinyeneh – [email protected]
The donation is part of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, which focuses on the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.
During the turn-over ceremony at the INCHR head office in Sinkor on Monday, the OHCHR Country Representative, Christian Mukosa called for collective efforts in eliminating all forms of violence against women and children.
Mukosa said the motorcycles will be used by the INCHR to monitor, document and investigate human rights cases, not only in Monrovia, but all of the project’s implementing counties.
He said this is in the OHCHR Board mandate of monitoring, investigating and reporting on human rights violations.
“This is very important. The spotlight project lays the foundation on which we are working. These motorbikes will serve as a tool to allow our monitors to go in the villages… and make sure they get information on the human rights of women and children.”
He thanked the EU for the continued support and called for more support from partner organizations that have been in the forefront of combating sexual gender-based violence and other harmful practices over the years.
For his part, the Head of Governance Cooperation at the European Union delegation to Liberia, Jyrti Torni pledged the EU commitment to the process of ending SGBV and other forms of violence in Liberia.
The EU, Torni noted, is a leading continental human rights defender of women and children not only in Liberia, but across the region and beyond.
“One of the positive things we are looking forward to, is Liberia’s commitment to abolish the death penalty. We are talking of another serious issue. That is the inclusion of women politically, and economically,” he said.
He said despite the need to exert more effort in strengthening the fight against SGBV and other harmful practices, Liberia has made significant strides.
He pointed out the issues of female genital mutilation, which used to be a taboo, can now be discussed openly.
“Eventually I hope there will be a social contract that people understand that in no way this practice or violence will improve Liberia’s position and bring them into a more just society. I hope eventually, the focus will be on women’s economic and political inclusion as they forget about these harmful practices,” he said.
Meanwhile, receiving the keys of the bikes on behalf of the INCHR, the vice chair, Charles Harris lauded OHCHR and assured that the bikes will be used for the intended purpose.
Earlier,giving the overview of the project, a representative of OHCHR, Leetor Williams said the Spotlight Initiative is a global engagement partnership between the European Union, and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
Madam Williams noted that the Spotlight Initiative was launched in Liberia 2018 and is being implemented in eight African Countries with focus on eliminating Gender Based Violence, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and other harmful practices.
According to her, the Spotlight Initiative is also being implemented by five UN agencies in Liberia including the Office of the High Commission on Human Rights, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women in five GBV affected Counties.
The counties include Grand Cape Mount, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Lofa and Montserrado.