By Jariatu Bangura
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) yesterday held discussions with security forces on a report informed by findings and recommendations of human rights education needs assessment and other issues affecting people’s rights in the country.
The report recommended, among others, that there should be regular training on contemporary human rights issues, national, regional and international human rights to security sectors and respective Ministries, Departments and Agencies, in order to for them to imbibe a culture of a human rights friendly working environment.
The report also recommended that human rights sensitisation be carried out during muster parades involving the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), regular outreach and public education programmes on human rights values to forward patrol bases (FBW), adding that human rights should be promoted through the establishment of human rights department or desk within the RSLAF.
It further recommended public sensitisation and community outreach to promote human rights values, and that the National Fire Force should introduce human rights education in schools and colleges to inculcate a fire awareness culture in citizens.
According to the Director of Training, Education and Recruitment in the RSLAF, Colonel Daniel Yanka, human rights issues are important, especially for recruits, as he admitted the force lacks any specific module on human rights.
He pleaded with the Commission to create a module that will address the issue of human rights on the first training exercise for trainers.
Division Officer, National Fire Force (NFF), Lawrence Ngegba said the force has many challenges, and that in particular, during fire accidents, most people do not know their rights as well as the violation of those rights.
He appealed to other security forces and the Commission to join forces with the NFF in sensitising the public on human rights.