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NCPD Chair says misconceptions about disables still persist

July 25, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

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HRC-SL and NCPD Chairpersons; Dr. Usman Fornah and Frederick Kamara displaying the document

The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPD) for better collaboration on complaints handling mechanism and production of joint thematic report on disability issues.

The MoU was signed by both parties in the conference room of the Milton Margai School for Blind during the opening ceremony of training on treaty body reporting for NCPD and disable person’s organizations.

The purpose of the MoU, which would come into effect on August 1, 2017, is for the HRC-SL to support the disability commission to develop a comprehensive complaints handling manual and collectively produce a compendium of cases on disability issues reported.

Chairperson of NCPD, Frederick Kamara welcomed the partnership but noted that misconceptions about those living with disabilities still persist despite efforts.

He said disable persons were still been humiliated and discriminated against by some members of the public, stressing the need for information to be disseminated to all communities that needed to know how to work with disables.

“We have had a very good working relationship with the Human Rights Commission. We welcome this formal partnership. Persons with disability should not be left out when it comes to enjoyment of human rights,” he said.

Mr. Kamara described the training as timely and important because participants would be able to know how to carryout treaty body reporting.

Also, HRC-SL Chairperson, Dr. Usman Jesse Fornah, was happy about the formal partnership with the disability commission, describing them as paramount in the minds and thoughts of the commission as they go about their work.

He stated the training was to ensure that the disability commission and the disable person’s organizations were knowledgeable on the treaty body systems and how they operate, as well as capacitating them to effectively prepare their shadow reports.

He said the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Body system is one of the greatest achievements in the history of the global struggle for human rights, adding that victims reach out to treaty bodies for redress and reparation through the individual complaints system.

“To this effect, HRC-SL has the obligation to contribute to both the country report and reports of other non-governmental organizations at the national and international level by providing technical advice and guidance in drafting reports,” he said.

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