By: Melvin Jackson
Twenty opinion leaders in Grand Bassa County have received intensive training on the application of Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) in their local setting.
Organized by a local women organization, Liberia Women Empowerment Network (LIWEN), the training was aimed at enhancing the skills of the opinion leaders including local county authorities, security personnel, traditional leaders, women leaders, civil society representatives and youth leaders in basic human rights issues, and how they can help to expose violations for redress.
The European Union under a project funded the training, “Strengthening the Resilience of key populations groups and human rights defenders in Liberia,” managed by Acctionaid.
The European Union Strengthening key population project provides local authorities a broad understanding of the general inclusion of every human despite their involvement and efficiency.
The opinion leaders received different techniques in human rights based approaches, sexual exploitation and abuse, and how they can apply the them in their various places of work or communities for solution.
Madam Edith Z.M Zoegar, Project Officer of LIWEN who provided the overview of the project encouraged the participants to ensure the protection of everyone by raising the necessary awareness.
“The issues of human rights is everybody’s business as such you people as local authorities in Grand Bassa county need to make the most out of the HRBA training for the general inclusion of everyone,” Madam Zoegar said.
She told the participants that regardless of an individual’s status, sex, race, skin color, ethnicity and culture, everyone should be treated equally without discrimination and bullying.
The participants were made to also understand that every human has the rights to freedom from the day of birth.
During the training, the participants were astonished to hear that human rights are not privileges, rather an entitlement that everyone should enjoy regardless of age, sex, race, ethnicity, wealth, or social standing in society.
Madam Zoegar drilled the participants through the fundamentals of human rights, advantages and disadvantages and how opinion leaders can play a critical role in creating the needed awareness.
According to her, non-discrimination s important because it creates strong tie of ensuring an enabling living environments and togetherness in a society free from crimes and violence.
At the training, the participants were urged to ensure that sexual exploitation and harassment are prohibited in all forms and prevented from happening in communities and workplaces.
In remarks, the opinion leaders thanked the organizers of the training for the opportunity to enable them to understand the importance of human-based approach.
“We can assure you people, that we will utilize the knowledge you have impacted into us in our various communities, towns, schools, and workplaces,” the participants said.
They however called on the organizers to ensure persistent trainings on human rights based approach to advance citizens’ understanding of how they can handle issues relating human rights.