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HRCSL conducts training on the interpretation of the Gender Justice Laws and the Sexual Offences Act. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Expotimes   
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 20:26
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone(HRCSL) with funding from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Tuesday February 21 organized a one day training at the Lancelot Campbell Memorial Hall for its Commissioners and staff on the interpretation of the three Gender Laws: (The Devolution of Estate Act, Domestic Violence Act and the Registration of Customary Marriages and Divorce Act 2007 and the Sexual Offences Act 2012.
 
 The training was conducted to further enhance the capacity of HRCSL Commissioners and staff to measure the impact of the implementation of the three gender laws and Sexual Offences Act of 2012. Through the measurement of the impact, HRCSL would be capable of cataloging areas that need to be improved upon and thereby advice government. 
 
Section 7 (2) (c) of the HRCSL Act of 2004, states that the Commission shall “review existing legislations, advice government concerning compliance by such legislation with the obligations of Sierra Leone under international treaties or agreements” while (d) also states that the Commission shall “advise government concerning draft legislation, which may affect human rights” and (f) requires the Commission to monitor and document violations of human rights.
 
Women and girls suffer discrimination in almost every sphere of life including marriage, adoption, cultural practices and beliefs, and distribution of property. They are the frequent victims of domestic violence and other related problems. The prevalence of incidences of SGBV in Sierra Leone presents a serious challenge to the advancement of women’s rights.
 
The enactment of the Devolution of Estate Act, Domestic Violence Act and the Registration of Customary Marriages and Divorce Act in 2007 (commonly referred to as the three gender justice laws) and the Sexual Offences Act 2012 is a major step towards state compliance to International and regional human rights instruments Sierra Leone has signed and ratified for improving the status of women and girls in Sierra Leone.
 
Although appropriate legislative framework has been put in place to advance human rights, much remains to be done to ensure the effective implementation of these laws. 
 
Speaking before the start of the training, Commissioner Daphne Olu Williams hoped that at the end of the training, it is expected that staff of HRCSL will have an increased knowledge in the legal interpretation of the gender justice laws and the Sexual Offences Act.
 
She also stated that they will  have the techniques and skills in using the gender justice laws and the Sexual Offences Act in their day to day human rights activities. " At the end of the training, you will effectively monitor and document issues relating to violence against women, Identify the gaps and challenges in the gender laws and the Sexual Offences Act". She says. 
 
The training was participatory and Interactive with group discussions, questions and answers.
 

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