Liberia: Palava Hut Hearing Goes to Bong

The National Palava Hut mechanism, the restorative justice mechanism being used in Liberia to heal the wounds of the country's civil war, will hold its next hearing in Sanoyea District, Bong County from August 8 - 13, 2022.

According to UNDP, this will be the 5th hearing held since the conclusion of the proceedings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in July 2009.

The Palava Hut mechanism brings together those harmed by the civil war and those responsible, both of whom usually are living side-by-side in the same community, to speak to each other in order to secure apology, pardon and restitution.

The release says the intent is to rebuild relationships between victims and perpetrators of war crimes and to promote overall social cohesion.

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The Palava Hut mechanism was specifically mandated to address human rights violations from the Liberian civil war classified as "lesser in gravity", including arson, forced displacement, forced labor, looting, destruction and theft of properties, as well as desecration of sacred places, assault and torture.

With support from UNDP, the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) in Liberia has to date, conducted Palava Hut hearings in four counties - Tchien District, Grand Gedeh County (2016); Voinjama District, Lofa County (2017); Tewor District, Grand Cape Mount (2020); and in Central C District, Rivercess County (2021).

To date, the Palava Hut mechanism has helped resolved 277 war-related cases, involving more than 500 people - 275 victims and 244 perpetrators in a bid to ensure accountability for the myriad of atrocities and human rights violations committed during the civil war. It has also conducted six reconciliation dialogues helping to bring closure to the hurt, bitterness and hard feelings between community members.

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