-as they presents 2015 “State of Human Rights in Sierra Leone”
January 19, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone has lamented logistical and financial challenges, which they say, continued to hamper their work as they strive to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights of all and sundry in the country.
The commission yesterday presented to President Ernest Bai Koroma,as mandated by the Commission’s Act, its 2015 “State of Human Rights in Sierra Leone” which looked in-depth at the ways the fundamental rights and freedoms in the 1991 constitution and regional agreements were observed and violated during the year under review.
Even though they were grateful for the government invaluable support over the years, the commission’s Chairperson, BrimaAbdulai Sheriff, urged them to do more by increasing their financial support to the commission.
“Our work in the commission continues to be hampered by logistical and financial challenges. We are encouraging the government to do more for the commission,” Commissioner Sheriff told journalists.
He emphasised the urgent need for a substantial increase in the budgetary allocation to the commission as the current budget ceiling imposed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development was grossly inadequate and does not meet their growing needs.
He stated that according to a report by the National Assets and Government’s Property Commission after an inspection of the floors occupied by the HRC-SL in November 2016, they found out that the office was not only inadequate but also in a deplorable condition.
Commissioner Sheriff solicited the support of President Koroma in ensuring that the commission acquired a piece of land to build its headquarters.
He disclosed that in collaboration with the National Assets and government’s Property Commission, a piece of land has already been identified at Bell-Aid Park.
With regards the 2015 report, the HRC-SL Chairperson explained that the report include steps taken by the commission to protect and promote human rights, results of individual complaints investigated and the interventions and recommendations made in respect of matters brought before them.
“The commission notes government’s fulfillment of the country’s reporting obligations under both regional and international human rights mechanisms. We commend the government and parliament for ratifying the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa,” he said.
Commission Sheriff also spoke about the submission of a position paper to the Constitutional Review Committee where they recommended, among others issues; a call for the commission to be included in the revised Constitution as a constitutional body, as well as ensuring that the constitution becomes human rights friendly.