20 February 2013

Liberia: Human Rights Groups Hold Confab On Liberia

The Coalition for Justice in Liberia (CJL), a U.S.-Liberia based human rights advocacy organization, in collaboration with international human rights organizations is expected to hold a series of conferences and training during the months of March and April, to highlight the state of human rights here.

Under the theme: "The State of Human Rights and Justice for War Victims in Liberia", organizers say the conference aims to raise public awareness about the overall state of human rights in Liberia and bring international attention to the neglected issue of justice for victims of the Liberian civil war.

It would be ten years since the end of the brutal civil war that claimed more than 250,000 lives and destroyed major infrastructures, and well over two years since the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) completed and submitted its report detailing the root causes of the Liberian civil conflict, the persistence culture of impunity, but these recommendations have largely remained unaddressed and have not been given adequate attention by policymakers in Liberia.

In addition to calling attention to the lack of justice for war victims, a major component of the conference will be to provide training to the war victims. The goal is to empower Liberians with information, knowledge, and skills they need to engage in self-advocacy, champion their own cause, and take ownership of their fight for justice.

The Minnesota-based Human Rights Advocates organization, will conduct this training on Friday, April 19, 2013, at the Liberian Youth Center based in Minneapolis. Further, the First in the Series of this conference is an Outreach Forum planned to be held at African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Sunday, March 31, 2013.

Liberians in Philadelphia will be engaged and will have an opportunity to discuss legal actions that are available to ensure that those who were responsible in the commission of crimes against humanity, abuse, and torture, are held accountable and brought to justice.

The internationally-renowned Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), will facilitate this forum. This outreach effort is expected to set the stage for the main conference scheduled to be held at Brooklyn Center Community Center (Constitutional hall) on Saturday, April 20, 2013 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This august human rights conference which is the first of its kind being held since the end of the 14 years brutal civil war is expected to bring together Liberians from across the United States, including the victims of war, human rights advocates, and international human rights organizations, leading the fight for justice for victims of war.

Among the participants attending this conference are: Former members of the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), Human Rights Advocates (HRA), University of Minnesota Center for Human Rights, United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Center for Victims of Torture, Liberian faith based community and a host of others.

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