Liberia Democracy in Focus

In a Remarkable Tale of Resilience Liberian Trafficking Victims Fight Their Way to Freedom

In this episode, as many as 200 Liberian women were trafficked to the Middle East with promises of jobs and a chance to study.  Instead they found themselves in hell.

But the women broke free from the trap that had caught millions before them. A year on more than half are home.  The government has launched a major new push to crack down on traffickers. 

Two years since the mysterious deaths of four government auditors a legislative committee that was supposed to look into the deaths has yet to report. We ask why.

And journalists are facing an increase in threats and physical attacks. Newsrooms tell us they are self-censoring out of fear. What will that mean for our democracy as Liberia goes to the polls? 

COP27 A Mixed Bag for Liberia, and the Race is Own to Build Sustainable Food Sources

In this episode… Another gathering of global leaders fails to make commitments experts say will head off climate catastrophe. We report from COP27 in Egypt.

But while there was no new agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions there was one win for poor countries like our own.

As climate change hits food production we look at efforts to secure Liberia’s food sources.  

A Liberian Rebel Faces Justice in Paris and the Anti-Corruption Watchdog is Silenced

The latest warlord to face justice for crimes in Liberia’s civil wars goes on trial. We report from the court in Paris. In Lofa County where he is alleged to have committed most of his crimes people say they are grateful to see justice at last. And the US Ambassador for War Crimes visits Liberia promising funding for a war crimes court. Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner John Stewart tells us he is hopeful a court will happen soon. 

 And three months since the government’s controversial act overhauling the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission insiders tell us the corruption watchdog is barely functioning. What does that mean for our democracy one year from elections. 

You’re listening to Democracy in Focus.

A Bill Banning Female Genital Cutting Looks Set for Defeat; Ulimo Commander Goes on Trial in Paris and a Logging Company is Exposed

ANOTHER BILL TO BAN FEMALE GENITAL CUTTING REACHES THE LEGISLATURE BUT DOES IT HAVE ANY CHANCE OF PASSING?

THE LATEST WARLORD TO FACE JUSTICE, KUNTI KAMARA OF ULIMO, GOES ON TRIAL IN PARIS THIS MONTH. WE HEAR FROM VICTIMS OF ULIMO IN LOFA.

IN RIVER CESS OUR INVESTIGATION FINDS ONE LOGGING COMPANY HAS SHIPPED THREE MILLION DOLLARS OF TIMBER WHILE TELLING THE COMMUNITY THEY HAVE SHIPPED NOTHING AND CAN’T MEET THEIR COMMUNITY AGREEMENTS. 


The Silent War on Liberia’s Children

Nearly two decades since the end of the civil wars Liberia’s children are still suffering. 2022 is on track to see one of the highest numbers of reported rape cases in the last five years. The vast majority of victims are under 18. Reporter Evelyn Kpadeh Seagbeh looks at why rape continues. 

In River Cess County, reporter Eric Opa Doue finds children struggling to get an education. He visits five schools that have been shut down and finds others barely functioning. The crisis in Liberia’s rural schools continues.

And we hear from two internationally acclaimed investigative journalists Ruona Meyer of the Solutions Journalism Network and Idris Akinbajo of Nigerian newsroom Premium Times.