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Salone must protect, promote women’s human rights

HomeAYV NewsSalone must protect, promote women’s human rights

Salone must protect, promote women’s human rights

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2 A∕HRC∕32∕16, 14 April 2016, recommendations 111.48 (Poland), 111.73 (Belgium), 111.74 (Ireland), 111.75 (Canada), 111.76 (Jamaica), 111.106 (Lebanon), 111.107 (Maldives), 111.108 (Zambia), 111.109 (Slovenia), 111.111 (Spain), 111.112 (Australia), 111.113 (Congo), 111.115 (Cabo Verde), 111.116 (Botswana), 111.117 (Switzerland), 111.118 (Czech Republic), 111.119 (Uganda), 111.120 (Angola), 111.121 (Algeria), 111.123 (Croatia), 111.124 (Czech Republic), 111.125 (Japan).

However, Amnesty International is deeply disappointed at Sierra Leone’s rejection of recommendations aimed at protecting and promoting the human rights of women and girls, including by prohibiting by law female genital mutilation and removing the measures that exclude pregnant girls from the educational system.2

The ban on pregnant girls attending mainstream schools and taking exams has, in some cases, been enforced though humiliating and degrading physical checks. Girls have had to endure having their breasts and stomachs touched in public by adults at the schools to see if they are pregnant. This kind of procedure imposed on the girls is a serious violation of their right to physical integrity.

The ban on pregnant girls going to mainstream school and sitting exams not only stigmatizes the girls and discriminates against them, it also risks destroying their future life opportunities by violating their right to education. It fails to take into account the high levels of sexual violence in Sierra Leone and the difficulties girls face in accessing sexual and reproductive health services and information. There was a sharp increase in teenage pregnancies in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis and it is estimated that more than 10,000 girls have been impacted by this ban. Amnesty International calls on Sierra Leone to lift the ban on pregnant girls attending mainstream school and taking exams, as recommended during this UPR.3

Amnesty International wishes to express our regret that Sierra Leone rejected recommendations to adopt measures to guarantee the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex

 

persons and to decriminalize same-sex relations between consenting adults.4 Amnesty International calls on Sierra Leone to reconsider its position on these recommendations.

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