A one-day seminar for women, children, and women and children’s serving agencies has taken place at the Holy Trinity Parish hall along Blama Road in Kenema city.
The theme of the seminar was “operations of the Special Court and its impacts on the rights of women and children”.
The chairman of the ceremony, Bob Kandeh, said the Special Court existed to try people who bore the greatest responsibility for committing crimes against the people of Sierra Leone.
He stated that the outreach team had explained how the court was operating in Freetown, and that that was why they were moving around the country to explain to people.
In his keynote address the resident minister East, William Juana Smith, said abuses on the rights of the child and women had been going on for a very long time.
He stressed that series of abuses, tortures and deprivations of children on education had sent children on the streets in areas like Tongo field, Kenema and Kono where they provided cheap labour in mine-fields.
Hon Smith said the UN also adopted a convention on the elimination of the discrimination against women, adding that this convention intended to enhance income and education for women especially those that lacked the relevant opportunities for equal participation in national development.
“The government is aware of all these lapses and therefore is putting mechanism in place to review all legislations relating to child abuse and the deprivation of women,” he said and noted that “the government takes the responsibility to ensure that parents care for their children”.
The acting Outreach coordinator of the Special Court, Patrick Fatoma, gave a talk on the establishment and milestones covered by the court and the prospects of the court closing in 2009.