Over a decade has passed since the end of conflict in Liberia, but the incidence of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) has not diminished. The Liberian Government and the international community have focused on SGBV cases in response to urgent demands for improved judicial remedies to combat impunity, and a special court designated to deal exclusively with sexual offences was established in 2008. However, accountability and effectiveness of the court, as well as the number of successful sexual violence prosecutions, remain low. IDLO is working with Liberian and international partners to help combat and promote increased accountability for SGBV crimes.
Over a decade has passed since the end of conflict in Liberia, but incidence of sexual and gender-based violence has not diminished. Numerous studies reveal an extremely high prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence. According to an IDLO study, in 2015 1396 cases were reported to the Montserrado five one-stop clinics alone. Among those cases, 267 were reported to the Women’s and Children’s Protection Section within the Liberia National Police, 119 received an indictment, while only 3 cases went through to trial.
In the months following the launch of the Liberia National Police fund, an initiative for female police officers to undertake skills training, IDLO has been supporting professional development activities as part of the broader pursuit of access to justice in the country.
Teresa Mugadza, IDLO’s Country Director for Liberia. When I took up post in Monrovia last summer, what struck me most was that I found a committed and cooperative judiciary, but one handicapped by a lack of resources. Often, people erroneously think that Liberia has no legal framework, but that is not true.
Rape is the second most commonly reported serious crime in Liberia, yet many survivors fail to get justice.
In a country where in 2013, rape and domestic violence were reported as accounting for over 70 per cent of all serious reported crimes, IDLO has been providing crucial support in forensic training.
In Liberia, the WHO estimates that between 61 and 77% of women and girls were raped during the civil war, and gender-based violence continues to be prevalent.
PRESS RELEASE - LAUNCH OF LIBERIA NATIONAL POLICE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND CLASS OF 2016/17
Promoting increased accountability for sexual and gender-based violence in Liberia.
Under the Liberia SGBV program launched in January 2016, IDLO will work with the judiciary to enhance the efficiency, transparency and accountability of Criminal Court “E” in Montserrado, the special court designated to deal exclusively with sexual offenses established in 2008, and improve access to justice and protection mechanisms for victims of SGBV.