The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

INCHR Woes Deepens

Electricity is an issue at almost all government offices in Liberia but a Writ of Eviction couple with the lack of electricity at the Independent National Human Rights Commission’s (INCHR) must be a matter of concern to this government.
The INCHR’s failure to honor its rental obligation for nearly three years is already worrisome and place a dent on its ability to function as per its wide range mandate provided as the per the Act of Legislature and this also exposes government’s inability to fully fund said institution.
Now with the current continual power outage at the institution’s facility in the Fiamah Community on 20th Street, it puts the institution in perpetual darkness and undermines working functions thereby demotivating staffers especially those who must come to work on a weekly basis without an institution’s bus or assigned vehicles.
Just yesterday, May 23, 2022, the first working day of the week, some staffers were seen loitering in the compound with some taking their laptops to nearby shops and entertainment centers for charging and doing urgent office work while few were also in their offices doing nothing as the institution depends solely on electricity to function.
According to a well-placed source, logistics, transportation, office supplies and equipment as well as power supply are the major constrains faced by the Commission, just to name a few.
Our source named power supply as the key to the functioning of the Commission explaining, “We can manage to work with our personal computers, but in the absence of electricity, we cannot work.”
This paper was informed that the Commission has a malfunctioning standby generator, which, when working, is only able to supply the institution for two to three hours daily.
This paper was also informed that the INCHR was given a little over US$4 for operations in the national budget, something the Executive Director, Urias Teh Pouh, said is insufficient to run the affairs of that human rights institution.
ED Pouh however said that the INCHR is working with the Ministry of Finance Development Planning to increase the budgetary allotment for the smooth operations of the lead human rights institution in the country.
The INCHR was established in 2005 through an Act of the Legislature in response to the atrocities of the 14-year civil war in Liberia.
The Commission was also established in accordance with the Paris Principle of December, 1993 which gives the Commission a broader mandate to promote and protect human rights.
Article III (1) states that; “The Commission shall have general competence to protect and promote human rights in the Republic of Liberia according to the provisions of this Act, the Constitution and other relevant laws of Liberia, Articles IV and V of the INCHR Act of 2005 state the functions and methods of operation of the Commission.
However, the refusal of the Government of Liberia to fully support the workings of the INCHR is a breach of the Paris Principle which states, among other things that national governments are under obligation to support National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs).
The Paris Principle was adopted on December 20, 1993, by the UN General Assembly in its resolution 48/134. The National Human Rights Institutions, like the INCHR, are established for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.
NHRIs are non-judicial, independent institutions created by states through their constitution or law, with the mandate to promote and protect human rights because States are free to decide the best type of NHRI for their domestic purposes.

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