By Foday Moriba Conteh
As part of their activities for the commemoration of the 75thUniversal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in the country, the Human Rights Commission Sierra Leone, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has on Friday 8th December, 2023 updated the Press on the Commission’s lined up activities and raising awareness on the 75thUniversal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
In his address, one of the Commissioners of the Human Rights Commission Sierra Leone (HRCSL), Commissioner Hassan Samba Yarjah highlighted that on December 10, 2023, the world would celebrate the 75th anniversary of the UDHR, a document that sets out fundamental human rights universally and serves as a global standard.
He said that this year’s International Human Rights commemoration will focus on the theme: “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All,” which the HRCSL has localized as “Stand Up and Fight Against the Impact of Climate Change.”
Commissioner Yarjah urged State and non-state actors to take proactive steps in addressing climate change issues, fostering peace and promoting national cohesion.
As part of the commemorative activities, the HRCSL, in collaboration with its partners, has come up with several initiatives, including the Press Conference to raise public awareness and to call on authorities to protect, respect and fulfill the rights enshrined in the UDHR.
He emphasized the impact of the UDHR in infusing societies with principles of equality, fundamental freedoms and justice over the past 75 years, noting that the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991, reflects these principles, underscoring the global influence of the UDHR.
He maintained that the Human Rights Day will capture moments from this year’s commemoration, aiming to increase knowledge on the universality and indivisibility of human rights, particularly among young people of which he used the opportunity to thank the Government of Sierra Leone for paying outstanding membership dues, increased budgetary support, and partners such as UNDP, IRISH AID, OSIWA, UNFPA, UN Women, WHO, UNICEF, and others for supporting the HRCSL’s work.
Acknowledging the media’s invaluable support, Commissioner Yarjah thanked the Press for helping to protect and promote human rights in Sierra Leone, emphasizing that without the media, their stories could not be effectively told, expressing gratitude to district human rights committees, traditional partners and other stakeholders for their continuous support.
Before concluding, Commissioner Yarjah highlighted the HRCSL’s accreditation by GANHRI (Sub-committee on Accreditation) and the organization’s positive relationships with international bodies, partners, and local entities.
He concluded by expressing sincere thanks and appreciation to all contributors to the Commission’s mission, reaffirming the Human Rights Commission Sierra Leone’s commitment towards protecting and promoting the rights of all citizens in the country.
On his part, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Human Rights Commission Sierra Leone, Fredrick Kamara said as part of the 75th-anniversary celebrations, the Commission has planned various activities, including a quiz competition, debating competition, football match, human rights awareness float parades which has been done on Saturday 9th December, 2023 and an official event at the Freetown City Council Hall on December 11, 2023.