Status: civil society discussions
In Liberia, no policy for the protection of human rights defenders (HRDs or defenders) is in place. Several calls have been made by civil society organisations and international mechanism to the government. Until now, these calls continue to be ignored. In the meantime, intimidation and smear campaigning against human rights defenders continues.
In 2022, several groups of civil society organisations called for the protection of Liberian human rights defenders against harassment and attacks by the government officials. Some have already worked on the development of a draft law for human rights defenders in collaboration with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Liberia. Until now, however, no draft law has been presented to Parliament, nor have there been any other steps by the government to improve protection of Liberian defenders.
As all countries worldwide, Liberia is monitored by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders. Until today, no country visit has yet been paid to Liberia, nor have requests been made to plan one. Liberia is mentioned as one of the many countries in which defenders have been killed in the Bureau’s annual report of 2020. Liberia is also included in the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa, but no report or press release has been released on the situation of defenders in Liberia.
Liberia is also monitored through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The last report of 2020 makes no mention of human rights defenders, nor was there any recommendation by States on the subject. There appears to be a need for increased monitoring of Liberian human rights defenders, whose situation currently appears to be limitedly monitored by regional or international mechanisms.
Liberia is rated as “obstructed” by CIVICUS monitor 2022, which means that civic space is “heavily contested by power holders, who impose a combination of legal and practical constraints on the full enjoyment of fundamental rights”. The Freedom House Democracy Index has no data available on Liberia. Concerns are mainly expressed around threats against and intimidation of journalists.
Updated on 15 Jan 2023