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At the UN Human Rights Council High-level Meeting: Sierra Leone’s Attorney-General highlights reforms in promoting human rights

HomeNewsAt the UN Human Rights Council High-level Meeting: Sierra Leone’s Attorney-General highlights...

At the UN Human Rights Council High-level Meeting: Sierra Leone’s Attorney-General highlights reforms in promoting human rights

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Sierra Leone‘s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohamed Lamin Tarawalley has highlighted reforms in promoting human rights at the UN Human Rights Council High-level meeting of the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council.

He reported that Sierra Leone has initiated and rolled out several policy reforms with the view to safeguarding the fundamental human rights of all Sierra Leoneans.

He said the country has made remarkable strides in the promotion and protection of the rights of citizens especially of women and children including girls.

Minister Tarawalley noted that, the government had introduced legislative measures and reforms to further reinforce the independence of the justice system, and to demystify the law and expand access to justice for all citizens, noting that government sanctioned an unprecedented recruitment exercise to ensure the presence of judicial staff in every district in the country to service the courts, which culminated in the deployment of resident Magistrates and Judges in almost all districts in the country.

To ensure speedy trail, he said, the judiciary had established specialized courts -such as the Anti-Corruption Court, Sexual Offences Model Court, Social Security Court and Small Claims Court. All these are steps to make justice not only accessible but also expeditious.

He added that, there has been a considerable increase in budgetary support to the Judiciary with judicial staff benefitting from improved conditions of service to help bring them in line with their counterparts in the sub-region.

“In a bid to strengthen democratic good governance and national cohesion, we have established a peace as well as a civic education commission while consolidating existing rule of law institutions such as the Human Rights Commission, which was recently reaccredited with a grade “A” status for the third consecutive time by the Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institutions,” he disclosed.

He added that, during the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. President Bio made a passionate plea for “global solidarity on access to justice and remedies for survivors of sexual violence.”  And the ‘Hands Off Our Girls’ Campaign, an initiative by the First Lady has been effective in protecting women and girls from sexual abuse and exploitation, and the Diversion and Alternatives to detention framework for children through public engagement in all police stations throughout the country.

During the adoption of the country’s 3rd cycle UPR report, Minister Tarawalley noted that government took further steps to accept hitherto recommendations that were noted following previous UPRs, especially those on the ban against pregnant girls, sexual and gender-based violence, criminal libel and the death penalty.

Another significant human rights milestone of the Bio led Government presented by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice is the signing of all the nine fundamental Human Rights treaties and submitted initial and periodic reports on five of the treaties.

These are clear demonstrations that as a nation, we are committed to undertaking actions that will improve our human rights record and our sustained engagement with this international human rights mechanism demonstrates our government’s commitment in this regard.

He concluded that Sierra Leone would continue to collaborate and effectively participate in the affairs of all established regional and sub-regional human rights treaty bodies.

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