April 18, 2018
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRC-SL) yesterday assured of their determination and readiness to serve without fear or favour in ensuring that the country’s human rights record is maintained both locally and internationally.
According to Patricia Narsu Ndanema, the new commissioners have the requisite knowledge and experience in the field of human rights, to discharge their responsibilities with the aim of addressing human rights concerns that may arise.
She was speaking at a presser hosted in the conference room of the commission to inform newsmen about how they intend to carry out their duties to change the negative perceptions about human rights in the country.
“This will be the people’s commission. We are not here to serve one person but everyone in Sierra Leone. I want you to continue banking on my integrity and that of my colleague commissioners in carrying out our work. Our doors are open to address possible human rights violations without regard to ethnic, regional, political and other discriminatory considerations,” she said.
While noting that the enjoyment of human rights should be the collective responsibility of all, madam Ndanema expressed optimism that the government will be committed to their obligations of respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights, thereby ensuring peaceful co-existence of the citizenry and the nation’s development.
“We look forward to a collaborative and fruitful partnership with our local partners in promoting and protecting human rights and also educating the public on their responsibilities while aspiring to enjoy their rights,” she added.
She disclosed that they will be embarking on robust resource mobilization to promote their work at various levels, carrying out human rights education for duty bearers as well as extensive legal literacy on local, regional and international human rights laws and obligations.
Answering to a question with regards conflict of interest as she is the wife of the current Minister of Agriculture Forestry, Commissioner Ndanema said: “While I executive my duty here as commissioner, my integrity has to be maintained. My husband has to make sure that he does not find himself wanting by the commission. I want you to continue banking on my integrity.”
Commissioner Hassan Samba Yarjah called for continued collaboration and partnership from stakeholders and other partners in their bid to change the current negative perceptions about the country’s human rights record internationally.