Focusing on Liberian Human Rights Violations

Essay by pgaddCollege, UndergraduateA, March 2004

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Liberia is a country that has many authoritarian and even totalitarian characteristics. The government has the power to do whatever it wants, whether it is arresting and torturing innocent people or sending children to fight in their army. The Liberian government also does not allow its citizens to work with any organizations dedicated to promoting human rights. Whenever questioned about this, the government claims they are in the midst of helping their citizens respect human rights. Yet "both government and rebel forces have carried out executions, beatings, and torture of citizens. Civilians have been raped and forced into labor. Large numbers of children have been involved in the Civil War as child soldiers." (Payne). There are many possible ways to get the Liberian government to smarten up and start respecting human rights. Unless the violations end, Liberia could be denied any financial aid. The opposite could also work: nations could give Liberia more aid if it stops abusing human rights.

Another alternative could to let Amnesty International (AI) into Liberia. Since Liberia is crazy about soccer, maybe they should be kicked out of the African Nations Cup or World Cup until abuses end. Whatever the case, the Liberian government must participate in fixing the nation's human rights situation.

In the early 1800's, Liberia was founded as freed slaves from the United States were moved to the west coast of Africa. In 1847, Liberia gained its independence, establishing a constitution based on that of the United States. Monrovia, the capital city, is the nation's biggest city with around 1.3 million inhabitants ("Liberia"). The country used to be governed by Charles Taylor. In August, though, he was forced into exile and fled to Nigeria. Even though he is not in the country, his army still takes orders from him and Liberia is...