January 26, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Sierra Leone is due to undergo second cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of its human rights records during the 24th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which commences in Geneva on Wednesday 27 January.
The UPR was established by the General Assembly Resolution 60/25 on 15 March, 2006, which also established the United Nations Human Rights Council that replaced the Commission on Human Rights.
Sierra Leone’s human rights record was subjected to a first successful review in May 2011, during the 11th Session of the Human Rights Council, during a review led by the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Franklyn Bai Kargbo.
Out of 129 recommendations made by the review committee, the government acknowledged that 57 had already been implemented.
New Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, will be facing the committee for the first time to state the country’s position on the remaining recommendations, and to present a report on progress and improvements recorded so far.
As required by the reporting mechanism, the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) should provide necessary technical support to the government for the compilation of its report for submission to the committee, as well as conduct strategic engagement meetings to ensure full participation of major stakeholders; a requirement by the state reporting mechanism.
As part of the processes that led to the preparation of the draft UPR report, HRCSL held regional engagements simultaneously in Bo for the South and East and in Magburuka for the North and Western Area.
Also, representatives from the HRCSL will be attending the review process and will submit their own report to the council.
The commission has already had its report validated by key stakeholders during a session hosted Friday, 19 June, 2015 in Freetown.