Youth for Human Rights Freetown Chapter Launched to Advocate for Human Rights Education

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By Millicent Senava Mannah

The Youth for Human Rights Freetown Chapter was officially launched on Wednesday May 22, 2024, at the Africell American Corner on Bathurst Street, Freetown. The event, themed; “ Making Human Rights Education a Reality in Sierra Leone” was hosted by Ambassador Mohamed Lamin Fullah and co-hosted by Francess Cellu. The launch was a historic occasion attended by 100 vibrant youths from various organizations and esteemed dignitaries, including the Mayor of Freetown, Madam Yvonne Aki-Sawyer, Michael Morely, Mr. Alhaji Manika Kamara and Ambassador Bilkisu Jalloh.

Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyer, who inaugurated the Chapter, delivered the keynote address, praising the volunteers for their dedication to championing human rights within the Freetown municipality. She stressed the importance of the organization remaining non-partisan and focused on educating the public about human rights violations. The Mayor highlighted the significance of the organization’s blue attire, symbolizing its neutrality in Sierra Leone’s political landscape.

Ambassador Mohamed Barrie, CEO and Founder of the Youth for Human Rights Freetown Chapter, presented the organization’s background and structure. He emphasized its commitment to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and its affiliation with Youth for Human Rights International, based in the United States.

Alhaji Manika Kamara, National Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), underscored the media’s critical role in human rights education. He emphasized the responsibility of the media to raise awareness, inform the public and advocate for improved human rights standards. He highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts between the media and other stakeholders in organizing symposiums, debates and discussions on human rights topics. The SLAJ official further noted the pivotal role of investigative journalism in exposing human rights violations, particularly in rural areas with limited awareness.

The launch of the Youth for Human Rights Freetown Chapter marks a significant step forward in promoting human rights education and advocacy in Sierra Leone. With the support of volunteers, Government officials and media organizations the Chapter is aiming to empower citizens with knowledge of their rights and foster a culture of respect for human dignity and equality across the country.

The event concluded with a vote of thanks from Alhaji Mohamed Hafiz Bah, Secretary General of the Youth for Human Rights Freetown Chapter. He acknowledged the contributions and support of all attendees and donors.

Special thanks were extended to the sponsors, such as Double Up Group of Company and Africell American Corner, for providing the platform for the official launch at no cost.

The newly inaugurated chapter is a volunteer-driven group dedicated to ensuring that human rights are respected and protected for all individuals, as enshrined in Sierra Leone’s 1991 Constitution. The organization looks forward to continued collaboration and support as it strives to achieve its objectives of promoting and protecting human rights throughout Sierra Leone.


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