The Inter-Ministerial Committee of the Government of Sierra Leone will hold a three-day national capacity training on human rights reporting for MDA officials in Kenema city on Monday 23 July, 2018 to Thursday 26th July, 2018.
The aim of the four-day training programme is to enable MDA staff to draft and submit to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva the Government’s midterm report on the implementation of the 208 recommendations that the Government received in January 2016. According to the organisers, 2018 was the last time the country’s human rights record was reviewed at the UN under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.
The UPR recommendations the Government of Sierra Leone received covered a wide range of issues such as the expansion and improvement of the health care system in the country; the abolition of the death penalty; criminalisation and punishment of torture offenders; zero tolerance on gender based violence; prohibition of FGM and harmful practices against girls and women; promotion of women’s empowerment; protection for trafficking victims and prohibits child labour; promotion of constitutional review by harmonising national laws to meet international human rights standards; use lessons learnt from Ebola in the constitutional review process and eliminate discrimination against women; and sign, ratify and improve reporting obligation of international treaties.
Eminent government functionaries including the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Honourable Minister of Justice and Attorney General, the British High Commissioner, the UN Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone and the Mayor of Kenema city will deliver statements to grace the opening session. The Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Paul A.S. Minah will preside over the opening session.
It could be recalled that the Inter-Ministerial Committee of the Government of Sierra Leone was established under the Reporting Strategy of the Republic of Sierra Leone to International Human Rights Treaty Bodies. The National Reporting Strategy was developed and signed by the United Nations Integrated Peace Building Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFAIC). The National Strategy was developed following a request made by MFAIC on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone to UNIPSIL to assist Sierra Leone in furtherance of its human rights reporting obligations to international treaty monitoring bodies. The Reporting Strategy is Sierra Leone’s National Mechanisms for Reporting and Follow-up (NMRF).