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‘Live by Law and Rule by Law’ getting impactful - Monrovia residents

Jos Garneo Cephas Sr.
Students of the G.W.Gibnson High School in Monrovia
Students of the G.W.Gibnson High School in Monrovia

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-Several residents of communities in Montserrado County are commending the UNDP for implementing the ‘Live by Law and Rule by Law’ Program for helping them understand Rule of Law, the Justice processes and Security matters.

The residents of 16th and 17th Streets in Sinkor, Monrovia-Liberia and its surrounding communities said: “Though the legal education and awareness is minimizing conflict but we are still challenged with molestation by youth involved in narcotic and other dangerous drugs usage”.

The participants included women, members of the Disable Community, local leaders youth among others, lauded the Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP) for bringing the ‘Rule by Laws and Live by Rules’ engagement to their communities.

Addressing the fourth edition of the Communities Engagement Friday, November 16, 2018 P4DP’s Community Legal Aid, Atty. Nathaniel Mulbah, said: “I am working with P4DP to help implement the rule of law in educating and ensuring mutual understanding to mitigate cases where necessary.  I want you to make use of the legal knowledge being provided you and avoid conflict, by refraining from provocative situation by considering the court as the last option to settle dispute”.

The project titled, ‘Rule by Laws and Live by Rules (RULLAR)’ is a six month pilot project targeted for Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties under the theme; “Strengthening the Rule of Law in Liberia, Justice and Security for the Liberian People”; is being implemented by P4DP, a Liberian research and peace building organization in collaboration with UNDP and financed by SIDA and Irish Aid.

Apart from intervening in various communities, the project is rigorously implemented in high schools to enable students understand the fundamental of rule of law while at the same time providing awareness, legal knowledge and legal aid opportunities from legal practitioners.

The Executive Director of P4DP, James S. Shilue, during an interview with the Press at one of several students’ engagement series, said: “It is too early to speak on the project’s overall impact, when we are on the second phase but overwhelmingly you see students acceptance of the project and I believe the project is reaching its maximum level but there’s the need to continue”. 

Mr. Shilue pointed out that the need of the program is strong, adding in a post-conflict country like Liberia where youth constitutes a significant percentage of the population, there is a need to raise awareness in schools by increasing legal knowledge and legal information among students and teachers, as a means of averting the relapse to conflict, and building a more harmonious society.

“Certainly, sensitizing our youth and students on various rules of law procedures and practices, referral pathways and reporting channels are some of the critical mitigating strategies that we should be concerned with than only waiting until they commit crimes and get incarcerated”.

He further asserted that the class rooms are the best incubators for inculcating civic responsibilities because the students are already aware that they are in schools for learning to become good citizens to take over future leadership of the country.” 

RULLAR among others is aimed creating harmonious relationship among law-enforcement, restore confidence in rule of law institutions and build a justice culture more responsive sustainable human development needs.

The Deputy Police Inspector, Robert Buddy at one of the many engagements forum called for thoughtful stance against drugs dealers and users to avoid future societal threat of proliferations and rampant use of illicit drugs among Liberian youth.

Inspector Buddy challenged parents, community members and leaders of the Peace Island Communities in Congo Town, Montserrado County to collaborate with the security forces and disclose information on drugs dealers and users.

He said: “The consumption of these illicit drugs, mostly by young people in schools and communities, require a radical posture by stakeholders to help reverse the damage already caused to society,  before it becomes ill repairable”.

Col Buddy said he has seen many efforts to help build and restore confidence in the Justice system but he considers RULLAR exceptional and promised to remain engaged and support the continuation as well as expansion of the project around Liberia. Like Col Buddy, other Law Enforcement officers, including Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA), etc commended the initiatives and promised to work with P4DP always.

For his part, the Program Officer, G. Alphonso W. Woiwor, observes that “the initiative endeavors to help people understand that no one is above the law; so people should be educated in order to not only know their rights but for them to be able to effectively use their rights”.

 


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