A two day training workshop on Human Rights and Elections Monitoring for Human Rights Monitors being held at the Independent National Commission on Human Rights Office in Congo Town, Tubman Boulevard, from March 29-30 2017.
The Executive Director of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights Heron S. Gbidi Presented. Below is a highlight of his presentation
Human Rights Standards on Election
International Standards on Elections (3 central rights):
The right to take part in government
The right to vote and to be elected
The right to equal access to public service
To be free, participation in elections must be conducted in an atmosphere characterized by the absence of intimidation and the presence of a wide range of fundamental human rights
Rights to free opinion, Free expression, Information, Assembly and association, Independent judicial procedures, protection from discrimination, Political propaganda, vote education activities, political meetings and rallies and partisans organization
The enjoyment of the rights shall be without regard to race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
UDHR & ICCPR art. 2
Other Basic Human Rights
Freedom of Expression, information, assembly, association, and movement
Freedom of Opinion Art. 19
The freedom to hold a political opinion is imperative in election
Freedom of Expression and Information
Without a well informed electorate, it is impossible to guarantee that elections genuinely reflect the will of the people
Unless all persons feel free to express themselves and are able to disseminate without fear, all legitimate political information into the national dialogue, there can be no guarantee that elections are true manifestation of the will of the people
Freedom of Assembly Art. 21
The rights of assembly must be respected since public demonstration and political rallies are an integral part of the process and provide an effective mechanism for the public dissemination of political information
UDHR Article 21
1. Everyone has the right to take part in government of his country, Directly or through freely chosen representatives.
2. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country
3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
ICCPR Article 25 Citizens shall have the rights
1. To take part in the conduct of public affairs directly or ……………………
2. To vote and be elected at genuine periodic elections…………………
3. To have access, on general terms of equality to public service in his country