Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Timothy Kabba has met with Human Rights Experts from the Africa Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) at his office on Tower Hill.
The African Human Rights Experts were welcomed by Ambassador at Large, Dr. Victoria Sulimani. She said the meeting is a testimony of Sierra Leone’s commitment to implement all international instruments to which the country is a signatory.
Country Rapporteur for ACERWC in Sierra Leone, Aver Gavar applauded the Sierra Leonean Government for ratifying the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and initial report on the status of implementation of the Charter submitted in 2017.
Gavar said the visit is part of a follow up with MDAs and other organisations on progress made on recommendations and observations made by the ACERWC.
She drew the attention of authorities that the Charter placed an incumbent role of parties to submit reports on steps taken to uphold the rights of the child. She added that State are required to submit an initial report two years after ratification and periodic reports every three years.
The Foreign Affairs Minister, Kabba appreciated the delegation while outlining gains made by the government in addressing children’s issues. He pointed out that part government’s commitment include the separation of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs into two ministries.
“Government has invested a lot in terms of addressing the concerns of the children to give them a brighter future,” Kabba said.
He added that the government is allocating a huge chunk of the yearly budget (22 percent) to cater for education for children in the country.
The Foreign Affairs Minister also pointed out the launching of the ‘Hands off Our Girls’ campaign by the First Lady, Fatima Bio to be in support of children and girls’ empowerment. He added that the review of the Sexual Offences Act in 2019 has helped in the protection of women and girls in society.