As Sierra Leone celebrates its 48th Independence Anniversary, Bockarie Marah, Program Coordinator of Special Program on Africa (SPA) has said one major challenge in the post conflict era has been gross violation of human rights especially that of women.
He added that men have demonstrated absolute disregard for their women which in essence undermines the basic principles of human rights.
The Special Program on Africa (SPA) which is a coalition of six Human Rights Organizations in Sierra Leone supported by Amnesty International Holland, promotes access to justice for disadvantaged rural people particularly women.
Bocakarie Marah further said SPA through support from the coalition has successfully completed the training of Human Rights and Peace Monitors in over eight chiefdoms in five districts, which include Kafu Bullom, Lokomasama, Sorogbema and Bandajuma, Safroko, Konike, Tanei and Kholifa all in Port Loko, Pujehun, Bombali and Tonkolili respectively.
The Coordinator underscored some of the bench marks achieved over the years with regards to access to justice promotion. SPA through RADA SL – A reputable NGO has conducted training for chiefdom council members in Sorogbema, on child rights and gender laws. The training was facilitated by Monfred Sesay – Senior State Counsel.
The SPA Coalition Coordinator out rightly condemned such dastardly act, adding that SPA is gravely concerned and would ensure that justice is done without fear or favour.
SPA Coalition have raised grass root awareness in terms of human rights justice administration, also conducted training for chiefs and local court officials in the five operational districts.
SPA is currently following up two most recent cases of gross abuse on women, which include an incident in Gbendembu Gowahun-Bombali where Musa Conteh is being investigated by the police for allegedly beating and wounding his wife with a razor, and the second unfortunate incident reports Sorie Kuyateh of Mototoka –Tonkolili for severely beating and wounding his wife, who is said to be ten month pregnant, the woman is under critical condition battling between life and death.
The organization has deemed it fit to intensify the monitoring of human rights issues across the country through series of interactive training on human rights in their operational areas in the North and South.
He noted that the peace and human right monitors would embark on sensitizing the grassroots about their rights and how the justice system should operate..
These peace monitors have the obligatory role of reporting perpetrators of human rights abuses especially domestic violence, and other sexual abuses which is now becoming the order of the day asserted, the Program Coordinator.
SPA Coalition through a dialogue forum has brought together community stakeholders in Grafton to discuss the problems faced by the community and find solutions together, particularly the MP, Councilor, Local Chiefs, Women’s Leader, Youth Leaders, Religious Leaders, and the Police.
SPA coalition in it bid to prevent the unlawful initiation of young girls into the Bondo Society, has adopted the dialogue approach with Soweis and other women traditional leaders for thorough deliberation on the matter and to further mobilize their support in the implementation of the Child Rights act 2007.
The SPA Coalition Coordinator says partnering with the Soweis (initiators) is critical in the promotion of women’s right in Sierra Leone.