From 1979 to 2003, more than 1.5 million Liberians were forced from their homes to escape from the violence and destruction of a protracted civil conflict. Many Liberians eventually made their way to the United States in their flight from war. Most of their stories have never been told before. The report on the experience of the Liberian diaspora, entitled A House with Two Rooms, is the culmination of three years of work in the United States, the United Kingdom and Buduburam Refugee Settlement in Ghana.
A House with Two Rooms documents the experience of human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law that forced Liberians to leave the country. It is based on an analysis of more than 1600 statements, fact-finding interviews, and witness testimony at public hearings held in the U.S. The report also tells the story of the “triple trauma” experienced by members of the diaspora during their flight through Liberia and across international borders, while living in refugee camps in West Africa, and in resettlement in the U.S. and U.K. In addition, the report summarizes the views of Liberians in the diaspora on the root causes of the conflict and their recommendations for systemic reform and reconciliation.
At the request of the Liberian Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC), The Advocates for Human Rights coordinated the work of the TRC in the diaspora. Between January 2007 and August 2008, The Advocates documented statements from Liberians across the United States, the United Kingdom, and in the Buduburam Refugee Settlement in Ghana, West Africa. Moreover, the TRC held public hearings in St. Paul, Minnesota in June 2008 to document public testimony from Liberians in the U.S. diaspora. In July 2009, the Advocates presented their final report to the TRC of Liberia during the National Conference on the Way Forward held in Virginia, Liberia.