From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Today is International Human Rights Day
By Bampia Bundu
Dec 10, 2010, 12:58

In collaboration with West Africa Human Rights Committee and UNIPSIL, the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) will today 10th December 2010 celebrate the International Human Rights Day with the theme “Human Rights Defenders Who Act to End Discrimination”. The ceremony will be held at the National Stadium Hostel in Freetown.

The Acting Chairperson of Human Rights Commission (HRCSL) Mrs. Yasmin Jusu Sheriff in an interview said the commission in Sierra Leone joins other countries all over the world to celebrate Human Rights Day. This day, she went on is observed to commemorate the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. She furthered that Human rights are the foundation of freedom, peace, development and justice and laws to protect and promote human rights are indispensable. She however informed that in many instances, improvement in the protection and promotion of human rights comes down to people who make sacrifices to protect their own rights and the rights of others based on the resolve to make rights real in people’s lives.   Madam Sheriff said human rights defenders are a diverse group from all walks of life and backgrounds, but what they have in common is the fundamental conviction that human rights must be protected and promoted.  “Human Rights Defenders all share a collective commitment to expose wrongdoing, protect the most vulnerable and end impunity,” she said, adding that they can stand up and speak out in the name of freedom and human dignity against abuse and violations including discrimination, exclusion, oppression and violence. She concluded by stating that on this Day, they should be inspired by those seeking to make the country more just. “Each one of us has the potential to make a difference, so let us use that power and be human rights defenders, let us speak out and stop discrimination.”

The Monitoring and Research Director HRCSL Madam Patricia Nasiru Ndanema stated that the Commission is organizing the inter primary school drama competition to raise awareness on the theme for this year’s celebrations, adding that they target four primary schools in the western area, St. Joseph Primary School for Girls, Cathedral Primary School, St. Anthony Primary School, and Filmar Preparatory School. She concluded that they are using drama to educate the children as this will make them understand their rights and responsibilities in schools and at home.



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