chapter  5
Human rights in the context of conflict
ByTheéodore H MacDonald
Pages 21

Liberia, in some ways paralleling the case of Israel, was arbitrarily established in a country occupied by an indigenous people, and many of its current problems with regard to human rights stem from that history. The civil war, made infamous by massive human rights violations and the systematic recruitment of child soldiers, involved about half a dozen factions fighting for control over the Liberian government and its resources. Children have played many roles in the conflict, ranging from carrying ammunition and cooking to serving at the front in major battles. The ‘wild west’ environment of post-conflict countries is particularly conducive to trafficking, especially when international peacekeepers are present, as in Liberia. Since peacekeeping operations introduce thousands of unattached men into a chaotic and conflict-ridden environment, mission planners should expect to find trafficking and exploitation emerging in its areas of operations.