The Human Rights Commission in Sierra Leone has started a massive capacity building project for its newly recruited staff over the weekend.
According to the commission’s deputy chairman Edward Sam, the training will continue this week until Thursday.
He said the training is an induction programme for the new staff who will be primarily looking at the functions of the commission, the history and its establishment. These new recruits would also be embellished in the chronology of human rights.
During the initial orientation of the various sessions of induction, the commission’s chairperson Jamesina King presented an overview and functions of the commission.
She highlighted the Lome Peace Agreement and other peace negotiations that led up to the formation of the commission.
She talked about the various studies by international researchers for the need of a national human rights commission to fulfill the needs of the Paris Principles and the functions of the commission in their protection of human rights.
Commissioner Edward Sam took the new recruits into the dense chronology of human rights in Sierra Leone from pre-colonial days through independence, post independence up to the war and up to the conclusion of the 2007 elections.
Reverend Moses Kanu, one of the erudite commissioners who is also a mover and shaker in the religiosity of Sierra Leone and was the coordinator for the TRC reconciliation project for Western Area, shared the experience of the Inter Religious Council which was entrusted with the Herculean task by the TRC to preside over the reconciliation phase of its work after the war.
Mr Joseph Stanley, another commissioner, instructed the new recruits in handling human rights violation, how to handle complaints and investigations and also staff’s obligations under human rights laws.
“The objective of this intensive training is to adequately prepare the new staff in the effective performance of their duties,” the commission’s deputy chairman stated. This training came few weeks after the commission had developed a plan of action for the year in which it set up ambitious goals. Key among them is the scrupulous and vigilant monitoring of the human rights violations in the country.