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MATTRU JONG WELCOMES MOBILE COMPLAINT HEARING

November 11, 2021

With support from UNDP and Irish Aid, the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) has, as part of its mandate to investigate and inquire into complaints, concluded Mobile Complaints Hearing at Centennial Secondary School Chapel in Mattru Jong, Bonthe District.

Mobile Complaints Hearing is geared towards taking the work of the Commission to hard-to-reach communities, where people normally will not have access to its facilities.

The hearing at Mattru Jong on Monday, November 08 and Tuesday, November 09, 2021 was attended by key stakeholders in the township, including the Police, Bonthe District Council and Office of National Security (ONS).

Residents of the township and its immediate environs were offered the opportunity of making their complaints on issues including; unequal protection before the law; Property deprivation; cases of unfair hearing, child maintenance (child support), child labor; early marriage and domestic violence.

During the opening session, Commission Hassan Samba Yarjah said the commission was happy to be in that part of the country and admonished residents to take advantage of the opportunity provided for them to make complaints.

“We are happy to be here and we want you to take advantage of the opportunity we have given you. Human rights operate within the concept of the rule of law and it is the most misunderstood concept,” he said.

The Commission’s Vice Chairperson, Victor Idrissa Lansana Esq. spoke on the Sexual Offences Act of 2019 as amended and admonished residents to be aware that right goes with responsibility.

“Human rights are given by laws and they are also restricted by the same laws. Human rights are universal which means it is for everyone,” he said.

Director of Complaints, Investigation and Legal Services, Madam Doris Sonsiama spoke on complaint handling procedure of the Commission and assured participants that complaints that are not within the mandate of Commission will be referred to partner institutions for prompt action.

A participant, Beatrice Sylvalie appreciated the presence of the Commission, describing it as timely and important. 

“We the women have been suffering in silence for far too long and it is our hope that this complaint hearing will signal light at the end of the tunnel.  We want to thank the commission for this great initiative,” she said.

 Another participant, Augusta Kallon, a teacher had this to say: “I am very for this move by the Commission. I was never aware that there is an institution responsible to deal with complaints bordering on human rights from the populace.”

She urged residents of the township to come out in their numbers and make complaints on issues affecting their welfare.

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