Human Rights Protection & Promotion
¨ Promoting Criminal Justice System
¨ Decentralization and Promoting Citizens Participation
¨ Youth Program
Women, Children: Known as Women & Children Protection
The objective of this program is to promote and protect human rights, including the rule of law, democratic governance and the advancement of human rights education at both community and national levels.
RHRAP believes that an effective criminal justice system is a key aspect of the rule of law, and effective implementation of the rule of law, leads to genuine democracy. An effective criminal justice system is capable of investigating and adjudicating criminal offences effectively, impartially, and without interference, at the same time ensuring that the rights of suspects, accused and victims are protected.
Therefore, RHRAP rule of law program is focused on improving the Criminal Justice System (CJS) (Police, Court and Prison) of Liberia, using various methodologies. The criminal justice system in Liberia lacks the above qualities; and has been under serious criticism by both citizens and the international community. The US States Department Report on Liberia has selected the Judicial System in Liberia amongst others as the most corrupt branch of government. To this end, RHRAP is working with Liberia criminal justice institutions to protect the rights of citizens under the law focusing on rural communities of Liberia. Additionally, RHRAP is working with community residents especially traditional leaders in empowering them to contribute to an effective criminal justice system concentrating on the procedures of arrest leading to detention (Criminal Justice Highway) under the laws of Liberia which will also help them to defend their rights as peaceful citizens. To this end, RHRAP has organized two community structures in Bong County knowing as the Community Action Committees-CAC and continue to provide them with series of trainings on the Criminal Justice Highway. For the past two years, funding for this program is coming from ICCO & KIA Netherlands.
Additionally, RHRHAP continue to monitor general Human Rights Violations and Abuses in communities including the court and the Gbarnga Maximum Prison in collaboration with the Foundation for International Dignity (FIND) who is also involved with the promotion and protection of human rights at various levels in Bong County.
Using the grant from the Fund for Global Human Rights (FGHR), RHRAP has also extend its Criminal Justice Program to Palala, Bong County beginning with the organizing of community residents into social structure so that residents can contribute meaningfully to the promotion and protection of basic fundamental human rights within their communities.
Women and Children Protection
From the historical outlook of Liberia in the setting of Women’s rights, is a global phenomenon that cuts across geographical, cultural and political boundaries and varies only in its manifestations and severity. Gender Based Violence (GBV) has existed from time in memorial and continues up to the present day. It takes covert and overt forms, including physical and mental abuse. Violence against women, including female genital mutilation, dowry-related violence, rape, incest, wife battering, female feticide and female infanticide, trafficking, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, etc, are all violations and abuses affecting the lives of women according to the UN Resolution 1325 on the rights of women.
Over the years in Liberia, women have been marginalized in all of the sectors including family, education and workplace. Women were considered as property to men and were not eligible to vote until 1957 when women were granted voting powers to participate in elections. Despite of some advancement in the observance of the rights of women in Liberia, there still remain wider gaps in the restoration of women’s rights and dignity especially in rural communities.
To contributing to addressing this grave situation affecting the wellbeing of women, RHRAP has established a separate division that is headed and managed by a female administrator. The Board of RHRAP has commissioned a female in person of Ms. Kotati B. King to head this department. She is now leading the development and implementation of women’s protection and promotion programs with focus on remote rural communities.
This Program known as the “RHRAP Women & Children Protection Division” is therefore a separate department headed and managed by young females. RHRAP is working to promote the United Nations Resolution 1325. The resolution called upon all countries to allow increased representation for women at all levels including decision-making. Member countries have been urged to take measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence such as rape and other forms of sexual abuses, meaning that member countries should take the needs of women and girls into their planning designs as equal partners. It’s also recognized that there is a need to adopt a gender perspective in every aspects of planning which RHRAP’s program seeks to promote and protect.
In rural communities, there is an increased in Gender Based Violence (GBV) including wife battering, rapes, and the denial of girl child education despite of Liberia producing the first female President in Africa. At the general levels, women participation in decision making process that affects their lives still remains a challenge. Traditional cultural practices are affecting rights to girl child education, as well as women participation in decision making process that affects their lives; and RHRAP Program seek to contribute to addressing some of the above issues mentioned.
The establishment of the wellbeing of children in Liberia remains a deep-rooted problem to tackle. Over the three years, RHRAP Program activities seek to contribute to addressing some of the salient issues such as: Child labor, rapes, Female Genital Multination (FGM), earlier and force marriages, denial to the girl child education, child prostitution amongst others. The contemporary ones are child trafficking and adaption especially cross border trafficking. For the next three years, RHRAP will work collaboratively with Government Ministries and Agencies, relevant children organizations. As a Board Member, RHRAP will work with the Liberia NGOs Child Rights Coalition in contributing to addressing the plights of Liberia disadvantage children. To this end, RHRAP Women and Children Protection Division under its three (3) years plan will contribute to addressing some of the salient issues mentioned above using various methodologies.
For this core program, the below are the concentrated areas.
1. Human rights education and advocacy
A. Gender based Violence B. The rights to girl child education C. Women Participation D. Women Land Rights
E. HIV, & Malaria prevention &F. Reproductive Health, G. Child Protection& Trafficking
2. Economic Support and Adaptive Skills
A. Small Macro-Enterprise Development B. Saving and Credit and C. Marketable Skills Training
General Objective # 3: To organize and strengthen local community structures in order to analyze, mediate and prevent the outbreak of violent conflict