From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Child Council Holds Inaugural Meeting
By Momoja Lappia
Jun 23, 2010, 17:08

The newly initiated Freetown City Child Council successfully concluded its inaugural meeting at the Freetown City Council Board Room, Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown on Monday 21st June 2010.

In his opening remarks the Child Mayor, Simeon Osmond informed participants that the meeting’s main focus was to deliberate on FCC’s bye-laws. In his view, the meeting warranted such priority as it bordered around illegal Child Employment.

Deliberating on the significance of the bye-laws on Child Employment, the coordinator of Child Council, Aminata Palmer pointed out that Sierra Leonean children have been voiceless for too long. She attributed this to our socio-cultural beliefs and certain religious myths that relegate children.

Aminata Palmer claimed that this perpetual voicelessness has resulted in children being exploited without the knowledge of Child Rights campaigners. This she said will now become history because the main purpose of forming the Child Council is to give voice to Children within the Freetown Municipality to talk on issues affecting the City. The Child Council coordinator dilated on moves to be taken to ensure that relevant decisions taken at monthly meetings are implemented.

Chairperson of the Freetown City Council Social Services Committee, Councillor Cummings said His Lordship Mayor Herbert George-Williams is the brainchild behind the formation of the Freetown City Child Council, and that the council will function on similar principles like those of the FCC.

Apart from violence against children, issues such as consistent supply of hygienic water, roads security, education and health matters were also extensively discussed at the inaugural meeting.

The Children expressed their gratefulness to Mayor Herbert George-Williams for what they described as his brilliant idea on the formation of Freetown City Child Council. They made a commitment to be dutiful, show respect for elders and to be strict in implementing the new bye-laws.

Mayor Herbert George-Williams assured the Child Councillors of FCC’s support at all times.

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