International Development Law Organization

Liberia

English
In Liberia, IDLO works in partnership with the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) to support the government in its efforts to combat trafficking in persons. Since the start of the initiative in 2016, IDLO has supported Liberia in improving its ranking on the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report, passing an amendment to the country’s trafficking law to ensure harsher penalties for perpetrators, developing a digitized management system to track trafficking in persons cases along the criminal justice chain, and revising capacity development materials for law enforcement and justice sector actors to ensure a victim-centred focus in the handling of cases. IDLO continues to support efforts in Liberia and the Mano River subregion to enhance the capacity of law enforcement officers, lawyers and judges to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate trafficking in persons cases. We also work to build the capacities of women law enforcement officers, supporting their professional advancement and addressing gender discrimination in law enforcement agencies.

Strengthening the rule of law, justice and security in Liberia

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.

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Key Initiatives

  • In the post-conflict transition, significant steps have been taken to combat sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Liberia. The Government of Liberia established a policy and legal framework that includes the Rape Law (2006), a National Gender Policy (2017), and a National Plan of Action for the Prevention and Management of Gender-Based Violence in Liberia. However, in 2017, over 1100 SGBV cases have been reported in Montserrado County alone, representing only a small proportion of the violations that occur. Furthermore, the number of cases that have progressed to court remains low.
  • In Liberia, the most prevalent form of trafficking in persons involves women and children being trafficked from rural to urban areas, with family members usually acting as independent traffickers. The National Taskforce on Trafficking in Persons has developed a five-year National Action Plan (2019 – 2023), with IDLO support, which shows the commitment and political will of the Liberian government to combat trafficking in persons.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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