The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, participated in a one-day working session organized by the Ministry of Justice to validate the Government of Liberia’s response to recommendations advanced to Liberia at the 36th Session of the Human Rights Council under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
According to the organizer, the Universal Periodic Review is an international platform which reviews the human rights records of all 193 member states of the United Nations on a periodic basis after every four years. The UPR evaluates measures taken by state parties to protect and promote human rights.
Key among other recommendations that are required of the Liberian government to validate which are accordant with gender issues are:
The ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
The ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict;
Bringing customary law in line with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women;
Developing a legal framework in the Penal Code that explicitly criminalizes the practice of FGM including specific penalties. Other are:
Prioritizing the Strategy for the Protection of Girls against Child Marriage in conformity with 2063 Agenda of the African Union and criminalize FGM;
Intensifying efforts to prevent and respond to SGBV, as well as to criminalize FGM in all circumstances and ultimately eradicate the practice and
Sustaining efforts in combatting SGBV, and ensure women’s empowerment, as well as ensure adequate standard of living.
Speaking on gender issues during the validation, Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr told participants that already the Ministry of Gender has begun full implementations of many of the recommendations advanced by the Universal Periodic Review.
Minister Saydee-Tarr made mentioned that her Ministry is leading an ANTI-SGBV Inter-Ministerial Taskforce which is implementing the Anti-Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Roadmap 2020-2022.
The Roadmap is addressing the scourge of rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence as well as combating existential issues affecting SGBV prevention and response services.
Minister Tarr thanked the organizer for the one-day working session and confirmed Gender’s acceptance to recommendations from the Universal Periodic Review that are in accordance with the laws of Liberia.
The one-day working session which was held at the Boulevard Palace Hotel on 13th Street Sinkor, Monrovia was attended by the Minister of Justice – Cllr. Frank Musah Dean, Jr. Foreign Affairs Minister – Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Labour Minister Cllr. Charles Gibson, Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf, and Deputy Minister for Youth Development at the Ministry of Youth and Sports – Isaac Doe.
Other institutions in attendance were the Liberia Immigration Services, Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), the United States Agency International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women among others.