Seminars and Workshops

Report of the Parliamentary Event for Members of the Liberian Legislature

May 29, 2013
Description: 
A workshop has been held at the Liberian Parliament on 29th of May 2013 organized by British NGO Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), the Liberia Armed Violence Observatory (LAVO) and the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons. The event was hosted by Forum member Honorable Representative Gabriel B. Smith and brought together 11 legislators including the Chairman of the Defense Committee in the lower house and a senator and member of the defense committee in the upper house, an assistant minister for internal affairs, representatives from the Ministry of Defense and Justice Ministry, the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LiNCSA) as well as representatives from the Liberian Red Cross and the civil society organization of West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP). The three hour forum generated good discussions on how legislators can work on SALW related issues in their home parliament and actively engage with civil society partners – organizations which work closely with the communities and have the knowledge of the underlying causes of conflict and good ideas on how to prevent violence. Legislators have the power and mandate to formulate policy and create legislative measures but need the input from civil society on what the situation is like on the ground. At the same time civil society need the help of their elected representatives to show them the way to translate their knowledge and ideas into effective measures to address armed violence in Liberia. AOAV and LAVO have agreed to make follow up with the Legislators in order to include them in the work of LAVO to analyze the armed violence situation and generate programmatic responses to the issues identified. The findings of LAVO were pointed out as: Monrovia is identified to be the place where most violence or incidents occurred. Majority of the victims and offenders are male who in their youthful age between the ages 18-35. Armed robberies and assault are the highest crime committed and the weapons that are used are bladed and blunt weapons. Liberians are the highest offenders and victims of violence. The highest data provided are LNP followed by UNPOL. LAVO collects data from LNP, UNPOL, civil society, hospitals and other organizations that deal with armed violence data.

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