Posted By: John Peter Fuller ⇒  Posted Date: 11/14/2023


Vice Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL), Victor Idrissa Lansana Esq., on the invitation of the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, attended the 14th International Conference of National Human Rights Institutions from the 6th – 8th November 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The conference was attended by members of NHRIs from across the world on the theme “Torture and other I’ll-treatment: The Role of National Human Rights Institutions.”

The Vice Chairperson was actively involved throughout the various sessions of the conference and was selected to act as a Working Group repertoire in which he presented to the plenary on behalf of his group in relation to the subject, “Practical Perspectives on the work of NHRIs: Using NHRIs’ mandates and functions to protect at-risk persons and marginalized groups from torture and other ill-treatment”.

In one of his interventions, Commissioner Lansana called on NHRIs “to move beyond the traditional role of monitoring and take the next step by dealing decisively with findings from monitoring reports and holding perpetrators of torture accountable”.

He called on the EU to collaborate and support NHRIs in their different country offices where they operate and not limit their support to just Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

The Vice Chairperson shared his experience and recounted that in his country, the EU delegation has in long time not been supporting the NHRI despite having budget lines for the NHRI. Similar experiences were shared by other NHRIs as they discussed the topic, “Participation, Collaborations & Partnerships”.

He however commended UNDP and Irish Aid for their excellent relationship and continuous support towards the national human rights institution in Sierra Leone.

During a side event organized by the Danish Institute for Human Rights on “the impact of climate change on human rights across the globe”, Commissioner Lansana Esq called on African States including his country, Sierra Leone to enact a law that would require multinational companies to obtain a human rights compliant certificate from the national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the countries they operate after the NHRI would have carried out a human rights impact assessment.

He emphasized that the operations of multinational companies continue to adversely affect the enjoyment of many rights including the right to safe drinking water, the right to education, the right to health, and the right to a safe environment among others. 

He noted that while these companies are creating jobs and contributing to the tax base of African countries, the human rights and environmental impacts of their activities must not be swept under the carpet in favor of the argument around job creation and tax base expansion.

The Vice Chairperson is an avid advocate of climate change & human rights and has been recently voted Co-convener of the Climate Change Caucus of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) comprising members across the global regions.

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