The Advocates for Human Rights and Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) made history when they established the first-ever truth commission to make a systematic effort outside of a subject country. Liberians in the sub-region and those resettled in the United States and United Kingdom were involved throughout the truth seeking process, from providing education and outreach, to taking statements, to holding public hearings.
The Advocates and the TRC established the Diaspora Project Advisory Committee, comprised of Liberians from across the United States to advise and guide the process. The Advocates also partnered with Liberian communtiy organizations in the United States, United Kingdom, and Ghana to create a process that would be as accessible as possible for Liberians in the diaspora.
Statement-taking sites included Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota; Chicago, Illinois; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C.; New York City, New York; Newark, New Jersey; Providence, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; and the United Kingdon. The TRC also asked The Advocates to assist with statement-taking in the West African sub-region, specifically the Buduburam refugee settlement near Accra, Ghana.
As a result, The Advocates documented TRC statements from more than 1600 Liberians in the diaspora and recorded testimony from more than 20 witnesses at public hearings.
Read the article "Engaging Diasporas in Truth Commissions: Lessons from the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission Diaspora Project," by The Advocates' Laura Young and Rosalyn Park and published in the International Journal of Transitional Justice. The article explores lessons learned from the Liberia TRC, the first of its kind to include a diaspora population in all aspects of the truth commission process.
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