Liberia’s Truth Commission Report: Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in Transitional Justice
PRAXIS - The Fletcher Journal of Human Security, Vol. XXIV, pp. 5-28, May 2009
24 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2009 Last revised: 24 Aug 2009
Date Written: May 1, 2009
In early 2009, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC) released the first volume of its final report. The report claims that the root causes of the civil war that devastated Liberia between 1989 and 2003 were poverty, corruption, and inequality. Despite this diagnosis, the Commission’s legal analysis of past abuses barely touches upon violations of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR). Likewise, many transitional justice processes around the world sideline considerations of ESCR. This article, based on an analysis of the first volume of the final report of the TRC of Liberia, outlines why violations of ESCR should be addressed by transitional justice processes. This paper also provides recommendations for the final two volumes of the report, to be issued in June 2009.
Keywords: transitional justice, human rights, economic, social and cultural rights, Liberia, truth commission
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