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Liberia: UN Urges Human Rights Improvement

(Apr. 2, 2008) A new United Nations report, prepared by the U.N. mission in Liberia, discusses human rights conditions in the country and makes 12 major recommendations to improve the situation in the country. Covering the May to October 2007 period, the 24-page report concerns violations of economic, social, civil, and political rights, as well as sexual and gender-based violence and inadequate educational and detention facilities. The report states that Liberia needs to adopt legal prohibitions on all forms of violence against children, allot more resources for rural education, and provide better training in human rights issues for the police. The basic strategy proposed in the report is to include human rights considerations in an integrated approach to reducing poverty.

The proposals on violence against children include repealing section 5.8 of the Penal Code, which had permitted the use of force against children by those entrusted with their care; prohibiting female genital mutilation; and amending the Revised Rules and Regulations for Governing the Hinterland of Liberia and sections of the Domestic Relations Law, to consistently define sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 18 by someone 18 years or older as rape. (Liberia: UN Report Recommends Government Action to Bolster Human Rights, UN NEWS, Apr. 2, 2008, available through [email protected]; Report on the Human Rights Situation in Liberia: May to October 2007, http://www.unmil.org/documents/humanrights_may_oct_2007_report.pdf (last visited Apr. 2, 2008).)