The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has concluded a series of trainings on the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Shadow Report Writing and Advocacy.

OHCHR provided technical and financial support to the Civil Society Organization Human Rights Advocacy Platform to build the capacity of women rights advocates in drafting CEDAW Shadow Reports.

The training began in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County on 16 March 2021 and later moved to Ganta, Nimba County on the 19th and ended in Senji, Grand Cape Mount on the 24th with over 90 participants benefiting. The training was funded by the Spotlight Initiative; a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030.

The Trainings included sessions on the monitoring of CEDAW implementation, advocacy strategies and human rights data collection. During the trainings data were gathered to produce a draft shadow report of the Human Rights Advocacy Platform for the forthcoming CEDAW State report review of Liberia.

Speaking at the trainings, Francis Igiriogu, OHCHR human rights officer, said the purpose of reporting on the CEDAW treaty is to share and provoke affirmative action, as a preventive measure so that a response can be taken since the government signed the agreement.

Igiriogu said it is the responsibility of CSOs to hold the government’s feet to the fire to ensure that they follow the entire rule in the agreement and if the government refuses to provide its report on any of the agreements, the CSO can go ahead and present their report to the international committee of independent experts, noting why the CSOs need such trainings on how to report all information they gather to the international committee of independent experts.

Also speaking at the trainings, Adama K. Dempster, Secretary-General of the CSO-Platform, told participants that OHCHR is working with the CSO Platform to draft Liberia’s CEDAW Shadow report and provide a clear understanding about writing a shadow report for those CSOs’ workers who have not had the opportunity to participate in the process.

Dempster said following the series of three trainings, the CSO Platform, with support from the OHCHR, will reinforce human rights commitment in the various counties through local communities’ human rights groupings that will enable more coordination.

The capacity of the women rights defenders were strengthened from the trainings to advocate for the implementation of recommendations from the Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures and Human Rights Council Working Group on Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Liberia is a party to the CEDAW and pursuant to Article 18 of the Convention, has recently prepared its periodic State Report on the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures which they have adopted to give effect to the provisions of the Convention and on the progress made in this respect. Under the Rules of Procedure of the CEDAW Committee, civil society organizations (CSOs) are expected to prepare shadow reports, which add to and/or give their own evidence account of CEDAW implementation.


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