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OHCHR report 2013 OHCHR Report 2013
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OHCHR in Liberia (2006-2007)


Background

 
The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), established in September 2003, is mandated to protect and promote human rights in the country, particularly those of vulnerable groups such as refugees and returnees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), women, children and demobilized child soldiers. UNMIL is also mandated to support the national Government in its efforts to establish the rule of law and national authority and security sector reforms.

Prior to the signing of the Accra Peace Agreement on 18 August 2003, Liberia had endured 14 years of civil war fought by numerous armed factions who struggled for control of the country's natural resources. Gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law, including the use of child soldiers, rape and sex slavery, massive displacement of the population to IDP and refugee camps, and ethnic-based violence marked one of West Africa's most brutal modern wars.

OHCHR has been working through the UNMIL Human Rights and Protection Section (HRPS) almost since its inception. It deployed a human rights adviser to the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and, during the past years, has participated in the Integrated Mission Task Force and in the technical survey mission. 
 

2006-2007 Programme

 
The UNMIL Human Rights and Protection Section (HRPS) supports the Government to implement Liberia 's international human rights obligations through a programme of monitoring, technical advice, and capacity-building. HRPS field monitors are located across Liberia and public reports of the human rights situation are released periodically.

HRPS was instrumental in the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR).

HRPS, together with other rule of law components within UNMIL, supports the Government in its efforts to establish the rule of law, based on the findings of the Government-UNMIL Task Force on the subject. The Task Force identified eight priority tasks: strengthen the legal framework; strengthen human rights capacities and standards; reform the judicial sector; step-up law enforcement reform; improve corrections administration and facilities; encourage civil society networks on the rule of law; address corruption; and start the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

HRPS is mandated to conduct the mission's child protection activities, and to this end has conducted a human rights survey of orphanages and assisted the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in closing down those falling short of the minimum standards. HRPS works closely with UNICEF and the Child Protection Network in this regard.

HRPS conducts a range of capacity-building activities, including for police and plantation security firms, community-based organizations, and judicial authorities. This area of work is set to expand in 2006. HRPS is also conducting a comprehensive human rights programme within the education system. This involves the establishment and on-going support to High School Human Rights Clubs (43 to date), the development of a human rights curriculum and teacher training module and the provision of a human rights course within the University of Liberia Faculty of Law. 

Expected Accomplishments

 
Enhanced capacity of the judicial system to uphold the rule of law.

Strengthened human rights knowledge by police officers.

Increased human rights knowledge by the staff and Commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights.

Increased community awareness of human rights issues.

Contact Information

Headquarters

Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division
Geneva, Switzerland

Africa Section 
Tel. +41 22 928 9694
Geneva, Switzerland
 
Field

United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
Tel. (1) 212 963 9926/7
Congotown Monrovia, Liberia

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Action 2

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