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NEWS : Local News  

AI Congratulates Sierra Leone Human Rights Commitment
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Oct 6, 2011, 17:00
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as Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcome


A Press Release from Amnesty International (AI) says the organisation has congratulated Sierra Leone for its commitment to recommendations on internationally recognized human rights. AI welcomes the acceptance in principle by the Sierra Leone Government, for a moratorium on the Death Penalty and the Governments stated commitment to improve on healthcare in connection with birth delivery and to address other causes of Maternal Mortality. This is against the backdrop of the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review outcome on Sierra Leone by the United Nations backed international Human Rights Council.

 

Thirteen states raised the issue of the death penalty during the review of Sierra Leone, calling for a moratorium on executions, abolition of the death penalty, and ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

 

Amnesty International congratulates Sierra Leone on accepting these recommendations in principle and urges it to immediately take all necessary steps to abolish the death penalty in national legislation and to commute existing death sentences to terms of imprisonment said Brima Sheriff, director of Amnesty International Sierra Leone.

 

Amnesty International also welcomes Sierra Leones commitment to improve healthcare in connection with birth delivery and to address other causes of maternal mortality and is pleased to note that Sierra Leone is reviewing maternity healthcare policies and improving access to confidential family planning and sexual health and reproductive services. he said.

 

Amnesty International notes important reforms in this area, including a free healthcare policy covering pregnancy and childbirth, but it urges Sierra Leone to ensure that gaps in monitoring and accountability do not undermine the success of these reforms.

 

Amnesty International recently published a report highlighting continuing challenges faced by pregnant women and girls in Sierra Leone. Women and girls report that drugs and other essential medical supplies are often not available at health facilities, or they are charged for medicines and care that are supposed to be free. Amnesty Internationals research also reveals serious deficiencies in accountability across critical areas of the health system.

 

Amnesty International calls on Sierra Leone to reinforce transparency and accountability by monitoring and investigating shortcomings in the national health systems, and to respond robustly to allegations of corruption and systematic malpractice.

 

The organization urges Sierra Leone to make grievance redress mechanisms available within the health systems and inform patients about their right to redress. Sierra Leone must also commit to conducting a periodic assessment of progress using UN process indicators to monitor the availability, utilization and quality of emergency obstetric care.

 

The Amnesty International release ended by urging Sierra Leones prompt implementation of the many recommendations on the elimination, prohibition and criminalization of female genital mutilation.


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