February 6, 2017
The Legal Aid Board has announced Edmond Pratt as the Paralegal responsible for juveniles, following the suspension of Child Advocate, Ibrahim Kallon,who was put on half-salary, as a result of a matter brought against him by the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden.
Kallon is presently standing trial answering to charges of threatening language, insulting conduct and defamatory libel.
The Executive Director of the L Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles, has told a cross section of the national executive of the Children’s Forum Network (CFN) that the Board would stand with them as they go through the most divisive period in the history of the organisation.
“We were there to protect the rights of two of your members who were taken to the New England Police Station on Friday, 27 January 2017 by the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs. The Board will continue to protect you wherever you are because we now have Paralegals in all the fourteen districts in the country,” she assured.
Edmond Pratt is no stranger to youth activism and he is one of the finest in the field. He is a founder member of the Youth Forum Network in which he served as National Coordinator for eight years. He was also National Coordinator for the Kids Advocacy Network for two years, which saw him travel the length and breadth of Sierra Leone. He is one of the pioneers for the establishment of the Children’s Commission and the Child Rights Act 2007.
Edmond is an Associate member of the Children’s Forum Network and the Public Relations Officer for the Western Area Youth Council. He is the recipient of the Outstanding Youth Advocate Award for 2015 from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and the National Youth Led Award.
Edmond is expected to bring a lot of energy into his new role.
“I am happy to step in especially at a time when the relationship between the children and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs is in bad shape. We will continue to provide leadership in protecting the rights of children around the country.