Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Liberia - COI

Click here to see the host countries of refugees originating from Liberia.

Dr Sharon Abramowitz

Email: saabramowitzatgmail [dot] com 

Sharon Abramowitz is a medical anthropologist who specializes in the anthropology of humanitarian intervention, mental health, gender-based violence, health sector transitions, and post-conflict reconstruction in Liberia based in Boston, MA. As a topic and area expert, Dr. Abramowitz has contributed to over 100 written reports, articles, books, presentations, consultations, advisory meetings, and media statements in the United States, Canada, Denmark, France, Liberia, Senegal, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The expert has conducted extensive research on matters pertaining to health sector capacity in low-income countries, conflict and post-conflict issues, medical humanitarianism, trauma-related mental health, gender violence, and other political, sociocultural, economic, and structural matters. Particular social groups of interest include children, women, and low-income and vulnerable populations. During the West African Ebola response, Dr Abramowitz provided research and analysis to a range of organizations working in Liberia and Sierra Leone, including UNICEF, the WHO, and Save the Children.

Dr Daniel Hoffman

Email: djh13atu [dot] washington [dot] edu

Dr Hoffman has conducted fieldwork in Sierra Leone and Liberia since 2000 on issues of youth mobilization during and after those countries’ recent wars. Dr Hoffman acted as an expert witness in the Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2006. Dr Hoffman has published numerous works on the  issues in Sierra Leone and Liberia including the book The War Machines: Young Men and Violence in Sierra Leone and Liberia (The Cultures and Practice of Violence).

Prof Jacqueline Knörr (FGM/C)

Email: knoerrateth [dot] mpg [dot] de

Jacqueline Knörr, Head of Research at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Extraordinary Professor at the Martin Luther University in Halle/Saale, Germany. Professor Knörr was brought up in Ghana and Germany and has for many years conducted extensive field research in Sierra Leone und the Upper Guinea Coast of West Africa more generally, as well as in Indonesia. She has worked as a Lecturer, Senior Researcher, University Professor, Scientific Director, and Political Advisor. She has served as expert witness in about two hundred asylum cases, writing expert reports concerning FGC/M and other human rights issues.

Benjamin N. Lawrance, Ph.D. (LGBTI)

Professor of History at the University of Arizona

Email: benlawatemail [dot] arizona [dot] edu

Benjamin N. Lawrance is the former Conable Chair in International Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology and is currently a professor of history at the University of Arizona. He has conducted field research in West Africa since 1997 and published extensively about political and social conditions. He has served as an expert witness in the asylum cases for  over 130 West Africans in the US, Europe and Canada which have involved human trafficking, citizenship, statelessness, female genital cutting, gender issues, gender identity, ethnic and religious violence, and witchcraft accusations.

Dr Bernadette Ludwig

Ludwig profile picture

Email: bernadette [dot] ludwigatwagner [dot] edu

Dr. Bernadette Ludwig is an assistant professor in the Sociology Department at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, and a part-time faculty member of the Global Studies Department at the New School in New York, which was established in 1919 by a group of refugees. She received her PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  Her research focuses on the Liberian refugee and immigrant community in Staten Island, which is based on long-term, on-going ethnographic research that started in 2009. In her work, Dr. Ludwig analyzes the intersection of immigration, gender, and race, specifically how refugees and immigrants assert their agency to respond to imposed racial and gender hierarchies and refugee (resettlement) policies. She is the author of numerous book chapters and journal articles that have been published in International MigrationForced Migration ReviewMigration Letters, and International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Ludwig worked for six years with refugee and immigrant communities in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Dr Zoe Marks 

Email: zoe [dot] marksated [dot] ac [dot] uk

Zoe Marks is Chancellor’s Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh in the Centre of African Studies, and a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School in the Women and Public Policy Program. Her research focuses on gender, armed conflict, and post-conflict development in sub-Saharan Africa. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in West Africa (2008, 2009-10, and 2014) on issues relating to gender, sexual violence, civil war, and post-conflict development. Dr. Marks has conducted over 200 interviews with men and women ex-combatants from the Liberian and Sierra Leonean civil wars and continues to do primary research in urban, rural, and archive settings. She has also worked in local and internationalorganizations in Ethiopia, France, Sierra Leone, and South Africa on women’s empowerment, HIV/AIDS and sexual health, and community-driven education andpeacebuilding initiatives.  

Dr Naohiko Omata

Email: naohiko [dot] omataatqeh [dot] ox [dot] ac [dot] uk

Dr. Naohiko Omata is Senior Research Officer at the Humanitarian Innovation Project at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. Dr. Omata has worked in West Affirica, espeically in Ghana and Libeira, for many years. He is an expert on Liberia and has published numerous works on the Liberian refugee crises as well as humanitarian innovation and refugee protection.


Professor Pamela Scully

Email: pamela [dot] scullyatemory [dot] edu Scully profile photo

Pamela Scully is Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Professor of African Studies, at Emory University. She has her Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan. Her research interests focus on comparative women's and gender history with an emphasis on slave emancipation, biography, and on sexual violence in wartime and in post-conflict societies. Her books include Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus: A Ghost Story and a Biography, co-authored with Clifton Crais (Princeton, 2009, 2010) and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Ohio University Press, Short History of Africa Series, 2016). Professor Scully is involved in various collaborations on Ebola including serving as an academic advisor to the film Survivors, about Ebola in Sierra Leone. She serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Women’s History and Social Dynamics, and is on the advisory board of The Journal of Southern African Studies. Professor Scully works closely with the Institute for Developing Nations, a partnership between Emory University and The Carter Center, which focuses on collaborative research regarding issues of poverty and development. She has been particularly involved in projects relating to rule of law and gender based violence in Liberia.

Kerrie Thornhill

Email: kerrie [dot] thornhillatgmail [dot] com

Kerrie Thornhill is a D.Phil Candidate at Oxford School of Geography & the Environment, researching social beliefs regarding sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in post-conflict Liberia. She has lived in Liberia for several periods of fieldwork since 2008, and has been working on human security and development issues in Africa since 2003. Before commencing her M.Phil at Oxford Department of International Development, she worked in the non-profit sector, assisting immigrant and refugee women adapt to life in Canada. She has also volunteered in gender-based violence crisis support and advocacy. Kerrie is a junior member of Oxford's International Gender Studies Centre, and a 2012 Trudeau Scholar. Her most recent publication is "You must sit on the old mat to ply the new one": Rethinking Threatened Masculinities and Post-conflict Gender Violence in Liberia, in Freedman (Ed.) Engaging Men in the Fight Against Gender Violence: case studies from Africa. 2012, Palgrave Macmillan.

Laura Young, JD, MPH

Email: lyoungatprorightsconsulting [dot] com

Laura is a US-trained human rights lawyer based in Nairobi, Kenya who works across sub-Saharan Africa as a consultant on governance and human rights for USAID, the UN, governments, and international NGOs. Laura has published numerous articles and reports focused on conflict dynamics, gender, minority rights, transitional justice, migration, health, and other human rights issues in the African context. Laura has provided expert input for immigration and asylum cases in both the US and UK, focused on LGBT, FGM/C, domestic violence, trafficking, access to health services (including mental health and HIV), ex-combatants, ethnic minorities, disability access, police protection, and other key issues.