The Liberian Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) came in to existence in 2005 in accordance with Article XII of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) endorsed in Accra, Ghana, to sell the end of the Liberian civil crisis in 2003. The CPA called for the establishment of the INCHR to monitor conformity with human rights as well as promote human rights education throughout the various sectors of the Liberian society, including rural and urban communities, schools, the media, the police and the military. It further obligated the Commission to work together with local Liberian human rights civil society organizations, international human rights organizations and relevant UN agencies to monitor and strengthen observance of human rights in the country. The INCHR was also set up in line with the Paris Principles.
As part of their strategic planning process, the Commission has started a few study tour/visits to understand various human rights mechanisms, learn from other National Human Rights Institutions and to share cross country experiences and forge partnerships both at the national, regional, and global level. In May, 2016, they undertook a study visit to Geneva, Switzerland where it met with several departments in the Office of the High Commissioner, Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institution (GANHRI0, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the International Committee of the Red Cross. A similar visit is being intended for Kenya.
These visits are important not only considering that they will help enhance the capacity of the INCHR, but will also provide insights into transitional justice issues which when applied in the Liberia specific context, would go a long way in helping to promote national reconciliation.
Sierra Leone and Liberia share much of the same history, have much in common, and have almost similar cultural and socio-political context. In the areas of promoting and protecting human rights as a root cause of violent conflict in the region, Sierra Leone has established a national human rights commission that is advance in not only implementing its mandate as described in its Act, but is also in compliance with the Paris Principles. The success of HRCSL has enabled them to gain accreditation from the Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institutions achieving Category ‘A’ status.
The delegation will hold meetings with the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Office of the Chief of Staff, Fambul Tok, the District Human Rights Committees in the Western Area, Kono and Kenema and visits to some memorial sites.
The delegation will include Bartholomew B. Colley (Rev.) who is the Acting Chairperson, Tonia A. Talery-Wills, Commissioner with Oversight for the Department of Legislative Assistance, Treaty Matters and Law, Wilfred N. Gray- Johnson, Commissioner with Oversight for the Department of Planning, Internal Monitoring and Evaluation, Herron S. Gbidi, Executive Director, Christo Gorpudolo, Coordinator- Department for Complaints and Joseph Blamiyon, Program Officer- Project Management Unit, Palava Hut Project.