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Liberian official urges Africa to prioritise rights of refugees and displaced persons

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The acting Chairman of the INCHR is calling on African governments to develop a framework to protect the rights of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons in a comprehensive and detailed manner.

The Independent National Commission on Human Rights of Liberia (INCHR) acting Chair, attorney Batholomew B. Colley,  indicated that protecting them will not just cover conflict-induced displacements, but also the forced movement of people due to natural disasters.

Attorney Colley made the call on Monday, 21 October 2019, during the celebration of Africa’s Human Rights Day at a local hotel in the Monrovia suburb of Sinkor.

According to him, when displacement occurs, it does not only increase the vulnerability of individuals, families and communities, but also undermines the overall development of affected areas or countries.

Colley pointed out that officials of governments have the primary duty and responsibility to establish conditions as well as provide the means which allow refugees, returnees and internally
displaced persons to turn voluntary into safety and with dignity.

Also making remarks at the program, the former deputy director of the Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), Kojo N. Ross, said refugees protection regime needs to be independent of government and void of politics.

He asserted that the amended draft Refugee and IDP law should be given priority for enactment by the National Legislature.

He noted that since the ratification of the Kampala Convention for the protection of IDP’s in 2016, there are still malfunctions in the domestication of the Kampala Convention.

He pointed out that Liberia does not have a domestic law on the protection and assistance of IDPs, noting its creation is important for the massive displacements caused by development projects such as roads and massive farming and mining activities.

– APA

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