Tim Newman, Campaigns Director, International Labor Rights Forum
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has arrived in Liberia as part of her seven-nation tour of Africa. During her brief visit, Secretary Clinton focused her remarks on supporting the leadership of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as well as the role good governance and strong security forces play in ensuring a peaceful recovery from conflict. In addition to Sec. Clinton's visit to Liberia, a Congressional delegation led by Congressman Bobby Rush and including will visit Liberia (as well as Nigeria, Angola and South Africa) this weekend.
As readers of this blog know, we have tracked labor rights violations on the rubber plantation in Liberia owned by the Firestone tire company, the largest employer and foreign investor in Liberia. As Firestone's investment in Liberia has historically been a major part of US relations with the country, what can Sec. Clinton and the Congressional delegation do and say to ensure that the rights of workers and the environment are protected as part of Liberia's development process after years of conflict?