Respect for and Protection of Human Rights: An Imperative for Peace, Security and Development in Liberia (Published)
This Article analyses the role human rights culture plays in ensuring peaceful, secure and developed society, using Liberia as a case study. While it posits that human rights is subject to contestable philosophical underpinnings that there is seldom a universal consensus on its meaning, it adopts the United Nations definition which combines the perspectives of the natural law and legal positivism to form what it terms ‘inclusive legal positivism’. It accordingly defines human rights as those global standards of morality that are inherent in human beings by virtue of their humanity and protected by national governments and comity of nations through national laws and treaties. It argues that respecting the dignity of the human person is a recipe for peace, which in turn will enhance national security and sustainable development in the country. Example is when the State alleviates poverty which creates inequality and non-discriminatory tendencies, human rights is advanced, peaceful society is enthroned which can lead to development. It concedes that Liberia has adequate normative framework to respect human rights, but analysis of the three human rights obligations of Government namely – to respect, to protect and to fulfil human rights indicates that non-state actors like Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) have crucial role to play in translating the dry letters of human rights in the constitution and other regional and international treaties into veritable tools that will improve the lives and dignity of Liberians and residents alike including the women folks. It concludes that respect for human rights is indispensable for sustainable Peace, National Security and Development in any given society and calls on Liberian government to put in place structures and systems that are responsive in respecting and protecting human rights.