Even after UNMIL’s closure, its projects continue to be implemented
10 April 2018, Monrovia – As part of the UNMIL’s programmatic project “Support to the Liberian government in addressing impunity for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence related crimes through the government gender and justice structures and community based initiatives”, Country Representative, Office of the High Commisioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Liberia, Mr. Uchenna Emoloye, representing UNMIL, handed over DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) examination and evidencing machine to the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Williametta Saydee at JFK memorial hospital, Monrovia.
The project addresses impunity for Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) cases in Liberia through a twofold approach. Firstly, it recognizes that effective engagement with traditional and cultural structures as a necessity for changing societal views and attitudes towards SGBV and ensuring the protection of vulnerable persons such as children and SGBV survivors within communities.
Secondly, the project contributes into developing of a capacity within the criminal justice system to ensure more effective investigation and prosecution of SGBV cases by using DNA testing machine whilst ensuring the safety of survivors throughout the process.
The aim of the project is to assist in reducing social pressure to informally settle SGBV cases and instead promote the use of the criminal justice system for SGBV crimes. Accordingly, the project is designed to provide strategic and transformational campaigns targeting traditional leaders, communities, and constituencies across Liberia. It also supports development of linkages between remote communities and the formal SGBV response mechanisms.
DNA is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA. The information in DNA is stored as a code which is unique to every person. The DNA examination and evidencing machine recognises this code from the samples taken and reveals the true identity of the person.
The project has been initiated on October 2017 and the handover of the DNA testing machine concludes of the project with training of personnel responsible for operation and management of the DNA equipment.
This project was developed in line with the Mission’s mandate as defined in Security Council Resolution 2333 (2016) “UNMIL to support the Government of Liberia in carrying out promotion, protection and monitoring activities of human rights in Liberia, with special attention to violations and abuses committed against children and women and to support the strengthening of efforts by the Government to combat sexual and gender-based violence, including its efforts to combat impunity for perpetrators of such crimes”.