LIBERIA

In the context of the UPR, Amnesty International has made the following recommendations to Liberia

 

Disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration
• To review the disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration (DDRR) programme and to consider extending and expanding services to former combatants, with a focus on improved monitoring, reintegration, education, and vocational training;
• To stop flows of Liberian arms and fighters to Ivorian militia and rebel groups and Guinean security forces, including by staffing official crossing points and enhancing patrolling and intelligence gathering in border areas;
• To ensure a gender-based approach to the implementation of the DDRR programme, including  by:
o involving Liberian women’s interest groups and women leaders in the design, implementation and evaluation of national and county-level strategies for the reintegration of persons associated with fighting force;
o ensuring that psycho-social counselling is widely known and available in local communities to all women, men and children,
o making medical services accessible to women with particular health conditions from the conflict;
o ensuring that education and vocational training programmes are well funded, accessible and specifically designed to meet the needs of Liberian women and girls.

 

Independent Human Rights Commission
• To ensure the establishment and independent, effective functioning of the Independent National Human Rights Commission;
• To ensure that the Commission is allocated sufficient funding and other resources. 

 

Impunity for human rights violations
• To bring to justice anyone suspected of having committed extrajudicial executions, torture, ill-treatment, rape and other grave human rights violations, in accordance with international standards of fairness;
• To ensure that the victims of human rights violations and their families can obtain full reparation in the form of restitution, compensation, satisfaction, rehabilitation and guarantees of non-repetition.


Corruption and human rights
• To ensure that the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission is adequately funded and staffed to enable it to properly investigate and prosecute corruption cases;
• To implement the law requiring all elected officials to publicly disclose their finances.

 

Women’s human rights
• To ensure prompt, impartial and effective investigation of all reports of sexual and domestic violence against women and that those responsible are brought to justice in fair trials, including by strengthening and monitoring the work of the Criminal Court E as well as the Sexual and Gender Based Violent Crimes Unit;
• To strengthen programs to recruit women police officers and train other staff to enable women to access administrative and judicial assistance;
• To build and ensure expert staffing for more shelters for women fleeing domestic violence;
• To criminalize spousal rape;
• To pass and implement laws to prohibit sexual harassment in schools and places of work;
• To reduce maternal mortality and morbidity by implementing the Roadmap for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Newborn Morbidity and Mortality in Liberia as a national priority; to ensure that costs are not a barrier to essential health services, including emergency obstetric care and other reproductive health services; to improve the availability and accessibility of essential health services, including emergency obstetric care; to improve referral networks; and to enhance monitoring and accountability mechanisms. 

 

Children’s human rights
• To improve quality of care in orphanages and to improve alternative care for orphans in Liberia;
• To criminalize female genital mutilation;
• To eradicate the worst forms of child labour, including by implementing the ILO Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour.

 

Weaknesses in the justice sector
• To speed up reform of the justice sector, including by providing increased resources for the criminal justice system; by training judges, prosecutors, defence counsel and investigators; and by establishing Juvenile Courts throughout the country;
• To improve prison conditions, including in line with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners;
• To enforce the law, which criminalizes trials by ordeal;
• To prosecute ritual killings;
• To improve law enforcement, including by
o giving clear instructions to the security forces to always act in compliance with international human rights law, in particular, the right to life and the total prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment;
o ensuring that the security forces act in accordance with international instruments, including the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, in order to uphold the right to life and physical integrity.

 

Resettlement and land disputes
• To ensure that internally displaced people and returnees have their land and property restituted and to intervene effectively where they are unable to recover them.

 

The death penalty
• To immediately establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, as provided by UN General Assembly resolution 62/149, adopted on 18 December 2007, and resolution 63/168, adopted on 18 December 2008;
• To commute without delay all death sentences to terms of imprisonment, and to progressively reduce the number of crimes punishable by death with a view to the abolition of the death penalty;
• To ensure rigorous compliance in all death penalty cases with international standards for fair trial are respected. 

 

Press freedom and free speech
• To review existing laws and repeal or amend those that are inconsistent with article 15 of the Constitution of Liberia guaranteeing freedom of expression – particularly those criminalizing anti-government statements such as the law on sedition, the Criminal Libel law; and the Criminal Malevolence law;
• To pass the Freedom of Information Act submitted by the Press Union of Liberia to the National Legislature more than a year ago.

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Liberia: Amnesty International's submission the UN Universal Periodic Review

Other Amnesty International documents on Liberia