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NEWS : Local News  

In Sierra Leone, Human Rights Commission Engages Stakeholders on National Action Plan
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Aug 2, 2010, 13:16
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The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) on Friday 30th July 2010 engaged relevant stakeholders in a one day dialogue session on the development of a National Human Rights Action Plan for Sierra Leone. The dialogue session which was sponsored by Irish Aid was conducted at the Country Lodge, Hill Station in Freetown on the theme Looking Back, Reaching Forward: From Human Rights Manifesto to National Human Rights Action Plan.


Delivering her key note address, the Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs. Mary Robinson, revealed that this is my latest visit to Sierra Leone and its one of the most memorable days in my life since 1999 when I signed the Human Rights Manifesto. She commend HRCSL for their efforts at ensuring that they come up with strategies to develop a national action plan for Sierra Leone. She encouraged participants to come up with possible recommendations and contributions in the development of the plan. Madam Robinson confessed that all countries face human rights violations in one way or the other. For a country to be stable, developed and free of violence, the human rights of its citizens must be respected.  She concluded.

Cross Section of the participant at the ceremony


Giving a background of the drafting of the Human Rights Manifesto for Sierra Leone in his statement, the Chairperson of the Human Right Commission Commissioner Edward Sam noted that according to the TRC report published in 2004 the eleven year civil war was characterized by gross violations of human rights; extrajudicial executions, mutilations, torture, rape and sexual abuse, forced labour, abduction and recruitment of children, as well as women, as Soldiers, wanton destruction and looting of civilian property, massive internal displacement and the exodus of refugees to neighboring countries. He however revealed that it was against this backdrop that in 1999, human rights promotion and protection initiatives culminated in elaboration of the Human Rights Manifesto for Sierra Leone with the intention of cultivating respect for human rights, addressing the past, restoring sanity, addressing impunity and building a culture of peace in Sierra Leone.


Commissioned Sam disclosed that the main objective of the trainings was to create a forum in order to kick-off the process of elaborating on a national human rights action plan.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Human Rights, Hon. Madam Elizabeth Alpha-Lavali making her statement.


This forum brings together key stakeholders from the human rights community and government so as to initiate and plan for a coherent national dialogue on the future of human rights in Sierra Leone and to elaborate a work plan for participatory process for development of a national action plan for human rights he said. He commend .the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Madam Mary Robinson, for honoring their invitation and for her inspirational statement that she delivered to the participants.

Members of the high table


Speaking on behalf of UNIPSIL Mr. Kedar Poudyal, stated that the world conference on human rights recommends each State to consider the desirability of drawing up a national action plan identifying steps whereby that State would improve the promotion and protection of human rights, adding that a Comprehensive program should be established within the UN in order to help States in the task of building and strengthening adequate national structures which have a direct impact on the overall observance of human rights and maintenance of the rule of law... That program should make available to states assistance for the implementation of Plans for action for the promotion and protection of human rights he said whilst he continued to express his institutions utmost support in helping with the development of a National Action Plan for Sierra Leone.


Statements were further made by other speakers and participants.

Human Right Commission Chairperson Commissioner Edward Sam delivering his statement


Guest of Honor Madam Mary Robinson flanked by members of the high table as they observe a special prayers at the ceremony


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