Sierra Leone: IHRDA Schools Human Rights Defenders

The Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA), on Tuesday, February 16, has concluded a three-day training workshop for various human rights organisations across the country.

The three-day workshop looked at various human rights treaties and laws in the country.

Speaking at the commencement of the workshop at the New Brookfields Hotel in Freetown, IHRDA, said his organisation is a Pan-African non-governmental organization (NGO) working to promote awareness of human rights in Africa and improve the effectiveness of the African Human Rights system with its Headquarter in Banjul the Gambia.

He said IHRDA envisions an African continent where all have access to justice via national, African and international human rights mechanisms.

He said IHRD is the institute for human development in Africa founded in 1998 out of the Africa Commission of Human Rights and it is a very useful tool for the enforcement of rights, protection of rights, and promotion of rights in the Africa continent.

He said the organization was set up because they really wanted to make sure they strengthen the Africa human rights system, and that they do so through capacity building by providing training not only for civil society, but for also law enforcement officers and the judiciary for countries around Africa.

He said at the time the institution was founded, there was only the Africa Human Rights Commission.

He said they also saw the need to provide training for those institutions and also collect case files in those court, adding that they currently have over ten cases before the Africa Human Rights Commission against different African countries.

He said they also have cases before the ECOWAS Court, citing the case against the Government of Sierra Leone involving Ebola survivors.

He said they also have cases before the African court against several African countries as well.

He said their purpose in Sierra Leone was to have a talk with their partners including civil society organisations on how best they could make use of the Africa system.

He said they defend victims of human rights violations before domestic and regional judicial bodies and also make sure that the judicial decisions lead to positive change.

He said they educate human rights actors and ensure that domestic laws epitomize international human rights standards.

Executive Director, Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL), Ibrahim Tommy said the institution is in the country to do a two day workshop for civil society leaders on strategic mitigation.

He said strategic mitigation is a legal action taken on behalf of one person or in relation to one issue with the aim to addressing societal problems.

He said the training packages lot of lessons on human rights and that they would provide immense education on the Africa human rights system, noting that participants were drawn from human rights organisations across the country.

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