Human Rights Commission: Sierra Leoneis doing well in civil and political rights

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By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

The Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL), Patricia Narsu Ndanema, expressed that Sierra Leone is performing exceptionally well in promoting civil and political human rights.

She highlighted the country’s achievements in various human rights areas and emphasized the Commission’s role in safeguarding and promoting human rights by establishing additional offices nationwide.

Speaking at a press conference at the Ministry of Information and Civic Education in Freetown last Tuesday, Ndanema announced that the Human Rights Commission will soon mark its 20th anniversary.

Established in 2004 based on the recommendations of the Lomé Peace Agreement and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the HRCSL was given the mandate to restore peace and protect human rights in Sierra Leone.

Ndanema explained that the Lomé Peace Agreement in 1999 recommended the creation of a national human rights commission to provide a platform for people to address their grievances, adding that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established to allow individuals to express themselves.

She said the HRCSL, founded with the vision of fostering a culture of human rights and ensuring respect for the rule of law, has various functions, including receiving and investigating complaints related to human rights violations, as well as raising public awareness.

The Chairperson of the Commission said the Commission also plays a crucial role in reminding the government of international agreements related to human rights laws.

Ndanema highlighted their mandate to promote the domestication of these laws, citing their significant contribution to the enactment of the Sexual Offenses Act of 2012. Since its establishment in 2004, the HRCSL has received numerous complaints and has actively intervened to investigate and resolve these issues, preventing human rights abuses.

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