A one-week workshop, organised by the Human Rights Commission in Sierra Leone on human rights activities, has ended in Makeni, northern Sierra Leone.
Briefing participants on the reason for the formation of the commission, the Human Rights Commissioner Mrs Jamestina King explained that the United Nations (UN) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) urged governments of the sub-region to setup such a commission to promote a national culture of human rights.
She explained that, “in Sierra Leone the commission was established as an independent National Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone under Act No. 9 of 2004 as provided in the Lome Peace Accord of 1999 and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report”.
Mrs King stated that the basic function of the commission was to investigate or inquire into any allegations with regards to human rights violations.
The commission, she explained, “has power to recommend payment for compensation to victims of human rights violation, their families or legal representatives.”
The chairperson reiterated that, “the commission is independent and shall not be subjected to the control or direction of any person, authority or government”, adding that even if that institution or individual was providing financial support to the commission.
The Port Loko Voice of Children representative explained that the rate of child labour and domestic violence in the district was alarming.
He commended the organisers of the workshop, pointing out that it was timely as it was a positive step in the campaign against human rights violation.
Paramount Chief Bai Shebora Kashanga II thanked the commission for enlightening his subjects on what he described as “a sensitive issue.” He identified the various human rights problems faced by the community, and asked the commission to intervene.
The PC also appealed to government to look into what he described as the ‘immoral’ dressing of some women.