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Liberia

Know Your Rights' Initiative (LR0018)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Liberia, Second National Action Plan, 2015-17

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: LNP, MOJ, MICAT, MIA

Support Institution(s): CENTAL, UNPOL, PUL, Community Watch Forum, TGCI

Policy Areas

IRM Review

IRM Report: Liberia End-of-Term Report 2015-2017, Liberia Progress Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Major Major

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Performance Indicators: Availability of information to the public on these issues using all current information outlets Number of citizens knowledgeable of and; seeking and receiving redress to police actions through the Professional Standards Division

IRM Midterm Status Summary

For Commitment details, see Liberia Progress Report 2015-2017.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

2.4 Liberia National Police (LNP) ‘Know Your Rights’ Policing Campaign/Initiative.

(MIA, MICAT, MOS, President’s Office, with support from Accountability Lab and iLab. 15 September 2015 – 15 September 2016).

Milestones:

· 2.4.1 Publish Laws and protocols on enforcement powers, filing of complaints and whistle blowing procedures

· 2.4.2 Promote citizens’ awareness of the existence, roles, and actions of LNP Professional Standards Division

Commitment Aim:

The police and criminal justice systems do not enjoy high levels of public trust in Liberia. According to a 2011/2013 Afro-barometer survey, 88 percent of Liberians perceived “some,” “most,” or “all” police to be corrupt.[Note40: “Afro-barometer R5 2011/2013 (Liberia)”, http://afrobarometer.org/online-data-analysis/analyse-online Citizens often accuse the police of extortion and bribery. Most do not know their rights in the justice system or the responsibilities of the police. The lack of an oversight body to address issues of police misconduct reinforces citizens’ mistrust. This commitment could significantly improve citizens’ awareness of their rights and knowledge of how to file complaints and apply whistleblower protections.

Status

Midterm: Not Started

This commitment has not begun. The government’s self-assessment report states that some information about policing is available in hardcopy at the National Police Headquarters. For more information, please see the 2015–2016 IRM midterm report.

End-of-Term: Substantial

With assistance from the Carter Center a website (http://lnp.gov.lr/lnp/) and a Facebook page have been launched. The online platform provides basic information to the general public on police activities and mode of operation. The website has a comments and complaints tab which creates a link for citizens to register their comments or seek redress on police actions. It also has a “Find Officer” section which provides the identity and location of any police officer after the ID number has been submitted. Key laws and regulations are also available on the site. Furthermore, the FAQ section provides useful information about citizens’ rights when arrested, the role of the police and civilian-police interaction. Nonetheless, this commitment is considered as substantially complete because the awareness-raising activities regarding the online platform and its use are still missing, particularly in the counties that are far from the capital city.

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Major

CSO representatives[Note41: Interviews with Peace Work Liberia and LOFANET representatives. December 2017.] believed this initiative has helped to flag police brutality cases as several complaints have been filed through the website, and the “Find Officer” link has helped to identify officers who were involved in violent acts.[Note42: William Howard, Executive Director, Peace Work Liberia, December 2017.

Citizens can now be aware of detention time limits (which prevents prolonged detention) and other police procedures. Before the implementation of this commitment, citizens could not report police officers who demonstrate brutality or behave outside their professional standards. CSO representatives acknowledge that, currently, complaints are being received even from counties far from the capital. For all these reasons, the IRM researcher considers this commitment as a major step forward in government openness in the security policy area.

Carried forward?

This commitment was carried forward in next action plan (Commitment 5). The commitment aims to establish a public hotline for complaints and recommendations, to increase available data on crime, accidents, and LNP activities on the website, and to create brochures with information about citizens’ rights in relation to the LNP.


Commitments

  1. Legislative Monitoring Database

    LR0027, 2017, E-Government

  2. Publication of Budget Documents

    LR0028, 2017, Audits and Controls

  3. Freedom of Information (FOI) Act

    LR0029, 2017, Capacity Building

  4. Citizen Monitoring for the Justice System

    LR0030, 2017, Capacity Building

  5. Feedback Mechanism to Build Accountability of the LNP

    LR0031, 2017, E-Government

  6. Capacity Building for Integrity in Government

    LR0032, 2017, Capacity Building

  7. Transparency in the Land Authority

    LR0033, 2017, E-Government

  8. Accountability and Value for Money Through Open Contracting

    LR0034, 2017, E-Government

  9. Beneficial Ownership Registry

    LR0035, 2017, Beneficial Ownership

  10. Open Data/Citizen Navigation Portal

    LR0036, 2017, Audits and Controls

  11. Starred commitment Commercial Land Use Rights Information

    LR0011, 2015, Capacity Building

  12. Open Aid Portal and Publication of Aid Data

    LR0012, 2015, Aid

  13. Link Financial Management System to Aid Management Platform

    LR0013, 2015, Aid

  14. Facilitate Tracking of EVD Funds

    LR0014, 2015, Aid

  15. Starred commitment Implementation of the New Jury Law

    LR0015, 2015,

  16. Citzen Monitoring of Justice System

    LR0016, 2015,

  17. Civic Education and Citizen Engagement Around Offline Tools

    LR0017, 2015,

  18. Know Your Rights' Initiative

    LR0018, 2015,

  19. Passage of Whistleblower Protection Act

    LR0019, 2015,

  20. Transparency Hubs

    LR0020, 2015, Public Participation

  21. Public Service Integrity

    LR0021, 2015, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  22. Citizen Feedback Platform.

    LR0022, 2015, E-Government

  23. e-Government

    LR0023, 2015, Capacity Building

  24. Public Expenditure Management Systems

    LR0024, 2015, Capacity Building

  25. Public Safety/ Law Enforecement Reform

    LR0025, 2015, E-Government

  26. Open Data Portal

    LR0026, 2015, Open Data

  27. Appoint Public Information Officers (PIOs)

    LR0007, 2015, Capacity Building

  28. Popularize Freedom of Information (Foi) Law

    LR0008, 2015, Capacity Building

  29. Expand Open Budget Initiative

    LR0009, 2015, Capacity Building

  30. Public Information on Land and Natural Resource Reform

    LR0010, 2015, Extractive Industries

  31. Increase Access to Public Information

    LR0001, 2013, Capacity Building

  32. Open Budget Initiative

    LR0002, 2013, E-Government

  33. Extractive Industries Transparency

    LR0003, 2013, Audits and Controls

  34. Citizens’ Participation and Dialogue

    LR0004, 2013, Public Participation

  35. Starred commitment Accountability and Integrity

    LR0005, 2013, Conflicts of Interest

  36. Technology and Innovation

    LR0006, 2013, E-Government