As domestic, sexual and gender based violence is in the increase human rights institutions are working relentlessly to ensure that mechanisms are put in place to minimize acrid suffering of women as well as children.
Yesterday, COOPI a European Union funded human rights organization in collaboration with the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone held a consultative meeting with other networks of human rights institutions in the Western Rural District to deliberate on the formation of a unified District Network that will monitor and supervise human rights violations.
The aim of the project is to foster the decentralization process of the Human Rights Commission, and further capacitate monitoring effort in respect of human rights abuses by using the correct channel.
The task of the District Networks will further include, among others, the engagement of civil society groups to enhance and mount a campaign on the prevention and protection of women and children’s rights.
This could be made possible through massive public sensitization and institutional support, advocacy activities organized at grassroots level; complemented by an access to justice for victims and courts supervision.
After a brief presentation on the trend of the project, Valeria Taurino, COOPI’s Project Manager in Sierra Leone maintained that the project is aiming at a nationwide participation which gave reason for the establishment of similar structure in Kono and about to create one in Kailahun and Koinadugu.
She said COOPI’s links with HRCSL is to give support and capacity building to the District Network in financial as well as technical through the E.U Fund. She expressed hope on the contribution of participants considering the alarming rate at which women and children’s rights are being violated.
The Women’s and Children’s Rights Officer of the Human Rights Commission Gloria Bayoh disclosed that the project started upon a research conducted by COOPI and brought out a result that women and children’s rights are grossly violated in the country without redress.
Based on this indisputable fact, they sought funds from the European Union to ensure that the issue is targeted holistically by trying to identify vulnerable areas that need women and children’s empowerment, promotion and liberation.
All of the activities of COOPI and District Networks will be operating under the periphery of the Human Rights Commission and will further involve the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children Affairs, the Family Support Unit and the courts.
In a brief interview with some participants, a feeling of confidence and acceptance of the project was seen and have inclined to give their support to ensure the project gains its desired objectives.
By Poindexter Sama