By Alloycious David
It appears that the alleged human rights violations being perpetrated against the locals by Liberia Agricultural Company (LAC) and Salala Rubber Corporation (SRC) in Grand Bassa and Margibi counties are not going unnoticed, as foreign human rights groups have begun documenting abuses at the companies.
Two human rights organizations are currently gathering information of abuses at the two plantations for a possible lawsuit.
The two rights groups are Advocates for Community Alternatives and Bread for Al, Swiss based human rights groups.
Advocates for Community Alternatives, helps West African communities that are threatened by the destructive impacts of extractives-led development to take control of their own futures,
Together with the Centre for Public Interest Law in Ghana and Green Advocates in Liberia, ACA has launched the Public Interest Lawyering Initiative for West Africa (PILIWA).
PILIWA is a response to the need to inspire and train a movement of lawyers that serve communities and the public interest.
The group has built a network of lawyers and provided support for West African human rights and environmental lawyers.
Silva Lieberherr disclosed that Bread for All is attracted to repeated reports of massive human rights abuse at SRC and LAC.
She said the two rubber companies are being targeted because their parent company, SocfinGroup, is based in Switzerland.
Silva disclosed that Socfin Group buys all of the rubber produced by LAC and SRC.
She noted that it is bad forEuropean companies to abuse the rights of poor people outside the continent.
Silva said they are looking into claims of massive land grip, water pollution, and destruction of crops by SRC and LAC.
Silva, who has already been at the plantations described situation there as appalling and disclosed that food security in the area is deteriorating because residents have no land to farms.
She promised to write a report that would unmask SRC and LAC assuring that her work will feed into a lawsuit against Socfin Group.
Silva promised to share her work with other rights groups so that pressure can be mounted on Socfin Group.
She noted that Bread for All is working with groups like Green Advocates International and Advocates for Community Alternatives to see how a lawsuit can be instituted against LAC and SRC.