Liberia: Truth, Reconciliation and Women's Human Rights after the Civil War

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August 12, 2008
Noon – 1 p.m. | Briggs and Morgan, Minneapolis

Noon – 1 p.m.  | Briggs and Morgan, Minneapolis

Briggs and Morgan, Professional Association and The Advocates for Human Rights co-present the Women's Human Rights Speaker Series*. The Aug. 12 presentation will focus on Liberia’s Women’s Rights preceding their recent civil war.

Liberia's 14-year civil war left hundreds of thousands of victims, many of them women. During the war, women were both targeted for unspeakable acts of brutality and sexual violence and caught in the cross-fire of warring factions. The Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is specifically charged with including the experiences of women and documenting the human rights abuses they endured. The TRC is documenting the experiences of women in Liberia and in the broad Liberian Diaspora.

Discussion will include an overview of the TRC's work, human rights abuses experienced by women in Liberia and their flight to safety, and the successes and challenges of protecting Liberian women's human rights in the U.S.

About the Speakers

Robin Phillips is the executive director of The Advocates for Human Rights, having formerly served as the director of the Women's Human Rights Program and deputy director. Phillips is an attorney and has written on a variety of topics related to women's human rights, including trafficking in women, employment discrimination, sexual harassment and domestic violence. She has taught at both the University of Minnesota Law School and the University of St. Thomas Law School, and has led and conducted fact-finding missions to document human rights violations in Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Poland, Armenia, Moldova, Nepal, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. In 2007, she led a delegation to Ghana to conduct statement-taking for the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She has organized international conferences and trainings on human rights and NGO development issues and helped lead The Advocates' delegation to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China in September 1995.

Doris Kaiyonnoh Parker is the co-founder and executive director of a leading Liberian women's organization in Minnesota, Liberian Women's Initiatives of Minnesota (LIWIM). For the past nine years, she has worked as a nurse in various capacities at institutions throughout the Twin Cities. Currently, she is president and CEO of Core Health Services, Inc, a home health care company she founded to provide in-home healthcare, skilled nursing services, and Personal Care Attendant (PCA) services to Minnesota residents. Parker is actively engaged in both Liberian and broader communities, and serves as a member of the board of directors of the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota (OLM). She was a founding member of the Bethel World Outreach Church in Robbinsdale, where she has served on the board of trustees and as a deaconess since 2006. Parker came to the U.S. in 1986.