LIBERIA: MOJ, Partners brainstorm On Response to the UN Human Rights Commission’s Report On Liberia

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The Human Rights Division of Liberia’s Ministry of Justice has held a two -day drafting meeting focused on responding to the UN Human Rights Commission report to Liberia on the convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment (OPCAT).
The meeting was held in concert with the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation of the Ministry of Justice.
It attracted the participation of representatives of the Judiciary, the Liberia National Police and relevant civil society organizations.
The drafting meeting was predicated upon the UN Human Rights Commission’s presentation to the Government of Liberia its report arising from the visit made by the the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT) from 29 October to 2 November 2018.
The SPT , among others , advised the Liberian Government to take progressive steps towards removing laws on its books that promote torture , and other cruel , inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. The also highlighted the need for prison reforms.
Liberian authorities were requested to provide by 26 December (that is, within six months of the date of this letter), a response which gives a full account of the actions taken to implement the recommendations which the SPT’s report contains.
The drafting meeting provided a platform for the Liberian authorities and stakeholders to brainstorm on a consolidated response to the SPT’s report highlighting efforts and steps that have been taken to address the concerns highlighted in the report.
The Head of the Human Rights and Protection Division at the Ministry of Justice Kutaka Togbah remains hopeful that the response will be submitted to the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture, Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment in early January 2023.
Tokpa indicated that the response was “long overdue”.
Logistical and technical support for the drafting meeting was was provided by a local civil society organization- Serving Humanity for Empowerment and Development -SHED.
SHED has been working with other rights-based groups including Prison Fellowship and Rural Human Rights Activists Program in lending support to the Ministry of Justice in ensuring a human rights-friendly prison environment IN Liberia.

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