Posted By: John Peter Fuller ⇒  Posted Date: 12/4/2023


With support from UNFPA, the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) in collaboration with the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) on Thursday 30th November hosted a Human Rights Seminar on the Role of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in fulfilling the government’s human rights obligations.


The seminar which took place at MoFAIC conference hall is one of several activities lined-up by the Commission to commemorate this year’s International Human Rights Day, marking the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

MDAs serve as agents of government with the responsibility of ensuring that the state achieves its fulfill, protect and respect aspect of its obligations to the people.  

The thrust of the seminar was to draw the attention of MDAs to their responsibilities in the protection and promotion of the rights of all in the country and to develop and concrete strategies for interaction and information sharing between them and the Commission.

Participants from MDAs welcomed the engagement and pledged their commitment to always collaborate with the Commission in fulfilling its mandate of protecting and promoting the rights of all.


Chairperson of HRCSL, Madam Patricia Narsu Ndanema said in line with its mandate, the Commission has been working closely with MDAs in ensuring that government fulfills its human rights obligations of respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights.

“We do need information from ministries, departments and agencies as you also work on rights related issues.  Of more importance is the implementation of recommendations proffered in the Commission’s State of Human Rights Report targeted at various MDAs which are all geared towards the enjoyment of human rights,” she said.

Commissioner Hassan Samba Yarjah who chaired the session, stated that the seminar is geared towards strengthening the capacity of MDAs to effectively protect and promote human rights and stand up for someone’s rights wherever the need arises at all times.

“Many of our most pressing challenges in addressing human rights violations are inherently in our very institutions in which we operate and can only be addressed by working together as human rights defenders and practitioners,” he said.

Director-General in the MoFAIC, Madam Victoria Sulaimani, stated that MDAs are tasked with developing and implementing laws and policies that are align with international human rights norms.

She added that legislations should be designed to protect the rights of all individuals, with special emphasis on vulnerable groups such as women, children, persons with disabilities and the aged.


“MDAs must work collectively to ensure a holistic approach to human rights. This involves effective coordination among members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, especially ministries such as Justice, Internal Affairs, Health, Education, Social Welfare and Gender,” she said.  

In his keynote address, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohamed Lamin Tarawally commended the Commission for having been re-accredited a ‘Grade A’ National Human Rights Institution for the third consecutive time.

At the end of the seminar, a Communiqué to further deepened the collaboration between the Commission and MDAs was adopted and agreed on by all MDAs present.




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