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Human Rights Commission Engages on Universal Periodic Review

The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) has embarked on a nationwide stakeholder consultative engagement on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UNDP and Irish Aid and targets relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Civil Society Organizations are sponsoring the engagement

The consultation started on Tuesday, 25th August 2020 at the Peace Museum in Freetown aimed at soliciting information from the stakeholders in attendance to facilitate the production of a shadow report on the Third Cycle Universal Periodic Review Session to be held in Geneva on Mon 2021. The consultation, done through technical working group sessions will cover the overview process/recommendations of the UPR, ECOSOC Rights, ICCPR, Business and human rights, and the rights of vulnerable groups. The Universal Periodic Review is a unique, interactive, and a state-driven mechanism established by the General Assembly Resolution 60/251 on the 15th March 2006 to monitor and evaluate the human rights records of states around the world. Once every four and a half years, states are being reviewed and reminded of their human rights obligations and commitments towards the protection and promotion of human rights in their respective countries

Sierra Leone became a state party to the UPR in 2007 and went through its 1st review cycle on 5th May 2011 by the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, with the final report adopted by the HRC during its 18th Session on 22nd September

The report proffered 129 recommendations to the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) out of which the Government accepted 126 except for recommendations relating to gender identity and orientation. Among the recommendations accepted, the government indicated that 57 were already implemented or were under implementation On 27th January 2016, the government was reviewed for the second time at the 24th Session of the HRC in Geneva.  The report proffered 208 recommendations by HRC to the government. The Government for implementation accepted 177 recommendations while 31 recommendations were noted. Sierra Leone is expected to provide an update on the status of implementation of the 117 accepted recommendations to the HRC in its 3rd Cycle review that is due on Monday 2021. HRC-SL has the statutory mandate not only to provide technical support to the government in the compilation of its periodic report but also to submit its alternative periodic report to HRC. The HRC-SL engaged MDAs and CSOs on 25th June 2018 in a round table discussion on UPR reporting skills/ mechanisms and distributed HRCSL UPR matrix for them to provide information about the status of implementation of the Second Cycle UPR recommendations relevant for the compilation of the UPR Mid-term Report. The information gathered from Stakeholders will not only be used for the compilation of the Commission’s Alternative Report but also to provide technical support to the government as part of its function under Section 7 (2) (e) of HRCSL Act of 2004, about ‘advise Government concerning the preparation of periodic reports required by international human rights treaties or agreements to which Sierra Leone is a party’.

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