The Centre for Accountability and the Rule of Law (CARL) in collaboration with the Institute for Human Rights for Development in Africa (IHRDA) has on Tuesday 16th February 2021 started a three-day workshop on strategic litigations of human rights cases for Sierra Leone.
The three-day workshop took place at the Brookfields Hotel on Jomo Kenyatta Road in Freetown in the presence of human rights defenders from across the country.
Day one of the workshop took participants through the terminologies and concept of human rights law, presentation on the African system of human rights protection and major treaties, as well as a presentation on the law and procedure of human rights enforcement mechanisms existing under the auspices of the African Union, and how to litigate human rights complainants before these mechanisms.
CARL Executive Director Ibrahim Tommy said the workshop aims to provide some opportunity for human rights defenders to talk about human rights. “The workshop is kind of a refresher course on the African human rights system,” he said.
Tommy added that there are various mechanisms to protect human rights, but disclosed that there has not been much education on them, thus the workshop will focus on educating human rights defenders on how to surmount the various challenges they face in Sierra Leone. “We will not only remind government of issues bordering on human rights, but will hold them to account,” he revealed.
Tommy is hopeful that during the workshop, human rights defenders will share knowledge, as well as identifying human rights issues and decide on a line of action, and is hopeful that human rights defenders will have additional tools for the protection of human rights.
He said, they will decide whether to take cases which they will identify during the course of the workshop to the ECOWAS Court or African Court.
Executive Director Institute for Human Rights for Development in Africa (IHRDA), Jaye Sowe said Africa has beautiful treaties as well as effective human rights mechanisms, but noted that people do not use them as they should be.
He disclosed that this kind of workshop takes place all over the African continent, adding that IHRDA provides trainings for law enforcement agencies as well as human rights defenders.
He said the training will ensure that the capacity of participants be reinforced, have better understanding of the human rights mechanisms, as well as identifying cases of human rights violations which they intend to take to the ECOWAS Court or the African Court.