The, in collaboration with the rule of law human rights section of UNOSIL, has commenced training for 30 detention monitors on using human rights approach in monitoring of correction and detention facilities countrywide.
The programme manager of Prisons Watch, Mambu S Feika, spoke about the mandate of Prisons Watch Sierra Leone which he said was committed to ensuring that people held in detention were treated with respect and their rights as human beings.
Mr Feika highlighted the objective of the training which was geared towards building the capacity of monitors nationwide so that they could use the appropriate methods and approaches in doing their work.
He noted that visiting detention facilities was a challenge considering the restrictions attached to detention monitoring, documentation, reporting, lobbing and advocacy that would provide an effective out let for advocacy for reforms of the prisons system.
Mr Feika added that, “after the training participants are expected to be a focal point for detention monitoring and documentation so that the public can be better informed about the condition of inmates and services for correction officers who take care of them at the walls of silence.”
He intimated that plans were on the way to work with partners so that they could fund a post-prison life project facilitate skills training programme for inmates and literacy education to empower them so that they could be equipped with adequate knowledge that could transform them from being convicts to useful citizens.
Mr Feika also called on the government to strengthen the capacity of prisons as there were numerous complaints about the over crowdedness of prison cells.
He recommended that the Sierra Leone Prisons needed to emulate the practices of the Special Court in taking care of inmates.
Facilitators of the training were drawn from prisons department, human right commission and the rule of law human right section of UNOSIL.
By Saidu Bah