Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement

IDP Laws and Policies: Liberia

Liberia Laws and Policies

Declaration of the Rights and Protection of Liberian Internally Displaced Persons (2002)

Purpose: As a confidence building measure to promote the expeditious return and reintegration of the internally displaced (Preamble).

Responsibilities: The government of Liberia has general responsibility for implementation of the Declaration and respect for the rights of the internally displaced (section 1). In addition, the United Nations and all relevant international humanitarian agencies, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Justice, are responsible for monitoring, protecting and managing the treatment of the internally displaced (section 1).

Content: The Declaration states the government’s commitment to respect and protect human rights, including the human rights of internally displaced persons and points to an anti-government rebel group as the cause of the humanitarian crisis, and specifically the plight of Liberia’s internally displaced persons (Preamble).

Provisions of note include:

  • Sexual gender-based violence perpetrated against women and girls in camps (Preamble);
  • Promotion of voluntary ‘and/or organized’ return and reintegration (Preamble);
  • Encouragement of all internally displaced persons to reside in camps (section 1);
  • Access and restoration of land (section 3);
  • Recovery of property (section 4).

National Community Resettlement and Reintegration Strategy (2004)

Purpose: To support the resettlement and reintegration of the internally displaced and other war-affected groups, recognizing both the right to return voluntarily as well as resettle elsewhere in the country. The Strategy aims to develop an environment conducive to return and sustainable reintegration and recovery, emphasizing an integrated approach that is intended to avoid disparities among war-affected groups. The timeline set by the Strategy is based on enabling the population to participate in the elections of 2005 (1.2.1).

Responsibilities: Overall responsibility for coordinating the activities identified in the Strategy lies with the Results Focused Transitional Framework Working Committee for Cluster 3, chaired by the Ministry for Internal Affairs and involving other ministries, UN agencies, donors and local and international NGOs (2.2). Further coordination mechanisms at the national and county level are identified in sub-section 2.2.

Content: The Resettlement and Reintegration Strategy adopted in June 2004 applies to IDPs as well as other war-affected groups, including host communities (Chapter 3).

Provisions of note include:

  • Recognition of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (2.3);
  • Provision of information to the internally displaced (2.4.2, 4,2)
  • Participation of IDPs in implementation structures (2.4.1, 2.4.2, Annex 2, 3
  • Gender perspective and community participation (2.4.2(11));
  • Rights of registered and unregistered internally displaced persons (3.1, 3.2);
  • Attention to persons with special needs (3.6, Annex 5, Annex 6);
  • Rehabilitation of basic services including health, water, education (5.1);
  • Protection related issues including informed decision-making and property rights (Annex 5).

Guiding Principles on Internally Displaced Persons: Instrument of Adoption (2004)

Purpose: To ensure the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement serve as a source of ongoing guidance and reference for the protection, dignity and rights of internally displaced persons.

Responsibilities: According to the Instrument, the Transitional Government is determined to foster a legal and institutional framework in Liberia that ‘can make use of the guidance provided’ by the Guiding Principles.

Content: The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement are described as providing guidance on the protection and human rights principles applicable to the internally displaced.