The National Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) over the weekend concluded a retreat for a strategic plan for the commission at its Wellington Street office in Freetown.
The brainstorming exercise was to analyze the situation in relation to human rights in Sierra Leone, discuss the elements of a vision and mission and articulate values for the HRCSL, and to identify and discuss programme priorities for the commission’s strategic plan.
The meeting was attended by commissioners, civil society groups, the government, human rights organizations, consultants and the media.
The commission, which is a year old, reported that it was able to start the monitoring of human rights and its promotion immediately after it was set up.
They were able to advise government on human rights issues and on legislations; they are currently recruiting more staff to stabilize the full operations of the commission and that they were able to maintain local and international interactions.
The strategic planning group made several suggestions which it defined as ‘expectations’. And key among these expectations were to set up a commission that would be impartial and decentralized; develop a data base of violence all around the country; develop strategic partnership with both local and international organizations; to develop a communication and dissemination strategy; address systemic violations, advocate for social and economic and cultural rights.
These expectations were prioritized and the priorities were also ranked and developed into the goals of the commission.
The report from this strategic meeting would be the basis for a five-year strategic plan.
The commission, which comprises five commissioners, was established as an independent national human rights institution.