Liberia’s VPA has a specific principle emphasizing that employment conditions have to be complied with for any harvested timber to be legal, augmented by the 2015 Decent Work Act. Furthermore, Social Agreements state their purpose, in part, is to “establish non-financial benefits (employment and benefits in kind)” for the communities affected by logging concessions.
Despite the enactment of these laws, regulations and agreements, there have been incessant complaints from workers and communities about how workers’ rights have been violated by logging companies. Nonetheless, since the signing of the VPA there has been no clear assessment report to our knowledge that shows how these legal provisions have been effectuated in Liberia by the logging companies. The lack of information on the terms and conditions of these logging companies’ contracts and how workers are treated limits the possibility for evidence-based deliberations on the issues and how best to resolve them. This report, in association with the National Union of Community Forestry Development Committees, seeks to stimulate such discussions.