The Minister of Gender and Development, Madam Julia Duncan-Cassell has urged civil society actors to seriously take into consideration the inhumane violation of women and children’s rights, which she said needs to be highlighted in all their deliberations and forums.
A Gender Ministry release says the Gender Minister made the assertion during a one-day Consultative Forum on Integration of Human Rights in the Review of the Liberian Constitution held Monday, May 19, 2014 during which she also emphasized that the constitutional review process should be seen as everybody’s business. The Minister reminded Human Rights and Civil Society Organizations that they are major actors in the revision process of the Constitution.
Min. Duncan-Cassell indicated that the assembly of rights groups sets the agenda for the inclusion of serious attention for the protection of human rights, particularly those of women and children who she said suffered the most human rights violation in Liberia.
The one-day Consultative Forum held at the Ministry of Gender Conference Room, was organized by the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) in collaboration with the United Nations Mission In Liberia (UNMIL) Human Rights and Protection Section to highlight human rights issues during the review of the Liberian Constitution.
‘We encourage human rights group to take advantage of this process and help to spread the message by seeking the input of their various institutions as well as the churches, mosques, etc… there is a lot of things within the constitution that needs serious attention especially the hun,n rights violation component,” the Gender boss added. She also highlighted other issues like land, property and marital rights, noting that even violence against women is a human right issue.
At the same time, Mi Duncan-Cassell strongly opposed to the recruitment of under-aged girls for the purpose of ‘sandy-bush,’ thus terming such initiative as a gross violation of the child’s right. According to her, the child must have the opportunity to willingly decide, especially at the age of 18-years, as to whether she wants to form part of such traditional process. “We must ensure that the children’s rights are protected,” Mm. Duncan-Cassell added.
Meanwhile, Liberia Gender Minister has applauded UNMIL and other friendly local and international partners for their contribution towards the initiative and therefore called on Liberians to play their role.