But in the midst of their role to the society their own rights are of concern and protected by the laws of the land, whilst many people are blind-folded to the critical roles they play ensuring citizens’ rights must be protected and voices of the populace are heard and protected as enshrined in the constitution.
This draft is aimed at protecting those that preach for the respect and protection of human rights and fundamental freedom of expression in Sierra Leone.
This draft highlights the right to Freedom of Assembly and Association, access to information and freedom to communicate with and cooperate with international and regional human rights bodies and mechanisms; right to privacy, right to solicit, receive and utilize resources and obligation to respect, promote, protect and fulfill the rights of human rights defenders.
Vincent Ploton who is the Director of Development and Treaty Body Advocacy said if this bill is passed in parliament Sierra Leone would be the first Africa English speaking country to pass such a bill; the others are three French-speaking countries.
He added that the protection of human rights defenders is pivotal to their work, while he also focused on addressing challenges faced by human rights defenders that limit their work.
Charles Keif Kobai who is the Executive Director for Forward Sierra Leone was part of the dialogue and said that many people are oblivious of their role to the society while pleading to members of parliament to look into the bill that focuses on the protection of human rights defenders in the country.
He noted that human rights defenders shall freely undertake activities to promote and strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms, at local, national, regional and international levels.