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Statement by the United Nations in Sierra Leone on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation PDF Print E-mail
Written by press release   
Friday, 10 February 2017 15:03

Female genital mutilation denies women and girls their dignity, endangers their health, and causes needless pain and suffering, with consequences that endure for a lifetime and can even be fatal. Sustainable development demands full human rights for all women and girls. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres

Globally, more than 200 million girls and women in 30 countries have been subjected to female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C). Sierra Leone has one of the highest rates of FGM/C worldwide, affecting almost 90% of women aged 15-49 years.

As Sierra Leone joins the world in commemorating the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, the United Nations in Sierra Leone reiterates that FGM/C constitutes a form of violence against girls and women which must be stopped, and replaced with practices that are not harmful.

FGM/C violates girls´ and women´s right to health, security, physical and psychological integrity, their right to be free from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and, when the procedure results in death, their right to life. It does not have any health benefits. On the contrary, long-term consequences include complications during childbirth, problems urinating, anemia, infections, infertility, formation of cysts and abscesses, painful sexual intercourse, hypersensitivity of the genital area and increased risk of HIV.

The Government of Sierra Leone has signed up to international commitments to end FGM/C, such as a 2012 UN General Assembly Resolution to ban the practice worldwide, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The UN recognises and appreciates cultural values, norms and practices that promote human rights and the wellbeing of people. Sierra Leonean women and girls must be able to exercise their cultural rights. We support a national dialogue on alternative rites of passage that do not entail female genital cutting and its harmful consequences for women and girls.

The UN acknowledges and congratulates the Government of Sierra Leone for its continuous efforts to reduce the prevalence of FGM/C in the country and asks that it continues to work systematically towards total abandonment of the practice, in accordance with the participation of Sierra Leone in the global commitments mentioned above.

Over several years the Government, supported by the UN, has invested in drawing up a National Strategy to reduce FGM/C which can help translate the country’s international commitments into practical action. The draft strategy has been written after extensive consultations with Government, Paramount Chiefs, religious leaders, Soweis, civil society groups, and NGOs.

In line with the Government’s efforts towards upholding all the human rights of women, men, boys and girls in Sierra Leone, the Government is urged speedily to finalise the draft national strategy and implement it, with a view to facilitating public education and community engagement and buy-in to end the practice.
The United Nations in Sierra Leone stands ready to support this endeavour and looks forward to a continued partnership.

 

Editorial

2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul

 

The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in  Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of  the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th  IPRA conference in Turkey,  at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th  IPRA  conference in Istanbul  to serve a second term of two years.

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Why Parastatals should be Socially Responsible: the Case of NRA

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The accused, Alpha Kanuwho plied his trade as driver and apprentice at the Wilberforce lorry park got involved in a fight with his boss Michael Aruna in February 2017. He was arrested and taken to the Congo Cross Police station following a complaint by his boss. According to Alpha Kanu, his injuries were ignored by the police even though they were more serious. He spent fifteen days at the Congo police station before the matter was charged to court.

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The “Obangame Express”exercise will be based on realistic modern-day scenarios such as piracy, illegal fishing and hijacking.  During the exercise,Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs) will be challenged to recognize illicit acts and share trackinginformation with other MOCs throughout the region.

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AUK who is a Political and Policy Analyst working in Australia said the mass registration of every citizen is a very important process in the development agenda of the country. He therefore appealed to all Sierra Leoneans to put politics aside and understand that the process would help government consolidate citizens’ data and enhance effective service delivery and improve monitoring of government programmes and policies.

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