November 5, 2019
The Vice Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone, Victor I. Lansana Esq on Monday 4th November 2019 in Cairo, Egypt called on members of the Network of African Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) to help safeguard and protect the rights of Sierra Leonean migrants who find themselves in the Middle East in search of job opportunities.
The Vice Chairman made this clarion call at the ongoing General Assembly Meeting of NANHRI in Cairo, Egypt where discussions are underway on the topic, the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
The meeting brings together key speakers, presenters, participants from State and non-state bodies to discuss the role of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in the Implementation of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration looking at African National Human Rights Institution’s (NHRIs) common vision, opportunities and challenges in its implementation. It is expected that at the end of the meeting, the stakeholders will come up with an NHRI-focused and inclusive action plan towards sustainable implementation of the GCM1 at national level.
More importantly, the action plan will give clear strategies on the role of all the state and non-state stakeholders in providing progressive short term and long term solutions to the migration equation in Africa and beyond. These strategies will include a human rights based approach to control of cross-border movements, inspection of the detentions along migration corridors, repatriation and policy and economic reforms for sustainability.
The HRCSL Vice Chairman, used the opportunity to draw the attention of NANHRI members that “over the years we have heard reports of our compatriots Sierra Leoneans who have been taken to the middle East in most cases, they promised them job opportunities but there has been reports that these Sierra Leoneans have been facing series of human rights violations once they come over, they tell them they are not entitled to any communications. IOM have been assisting to repatriate these Sierra Leoneans”.
Commissioner Victor Lansana made a passionate plea “This is a humble appeal to all members that let us please offer our support that our citizens are not violated and those people who are involved in human trafficking are seriously dealt with and assist the HRCSL in fighting against trafficking”.
At a regional level, NANHRI will coordinate the work of NHRIs through the NANHRI Working Group on Migration by ensuring an overall strategy is domesticated by incorporation as a priority into the work plans of the members. Some of the ways in which NANHRI will work with members on migration are identified in the Case for Support, which was developed in 2018 dubbed Migration in Africa: Promoting respect of fundamental rights for refugees and migrants in transit camps with the aim of mobilising resources to help NHRIs implement the GCM.
On 19 September 2016 the UN General Assembly decided, through the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, to initiate a process of inter-governmental negotiations for the development of a Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (GCM), successfully adopted at the Inter-governmental Conference held in Marrakech, Morocco, on 10 – 11 December 2018 and formally endorsed by the UN General Assembly on 19 December 2018.