The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) held a Press Conference on Wednesday, December 8, 2023, to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The Press Conference was held as part of the HRCSL’s efforts to raise public awareness about the rights and freedoms enshrined in the UDHR.

The UDHR was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948. It is a landmark document that sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected. The UDHR has been translated into over 500 languages and has been the inspiration for constitutions, laws, and policies in many countries around the world.

The theme of this year’s International Human Rights commemoration is “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All”. The HRCSL has localized the theme as “Standup and Fight Against the Impact of Climate Change”. The HRCSL is calling on state and non-state actors to take proactive steps to address climate change issues. The Commission is also calling on the government to increase budgetary support for the HRCSL and to ensure that the rights and freedoms enshrined in the UDHR are protected.

During the Press Conference, Commissioner Yarjah of the HRCSL said, “The core ambition of the UDHR has been to infuse societies with the principles of equality, fundamental freedoms, and justice.” He added that the UDHR is a global blueprint for international, national, and local laws and policies.

The HRCSL has designed several activities to mark the 75th anniversary of the UDHR. These activities will focus on raising awareness of the UDHR, promoting human rights education, and advocating for the protection of human rights.

The HRCSL is grateful to its partners, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Irish Aid, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Women, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Human Rights Working Group, the Human Rights Defenders Network, the Parliament of Sierra Leone, the Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), and all other MDAs, for their support to the work of the Commission.

The HRCSL also extends its heartfelt gratitude to its District Human Rights Committees, the Traditional partners, and the media for their invaluable support towards the Commission in helping to protect and promote the rights of all in the Country.

The HRCSL is committed to working with its partners to ensure that the rights and freedoms enshrined in the UDHR are protected for all Sierra Leoneans.