By State House Communication Unit
President Ernest Bai Koroma Tuesday 10 November, 2015, urged the National Commission for Children to achieve its mandate and set the standards and relevance of the commission to the people of Sierra Leone. The commission is charged with the responsibility to monitor and coordinate the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and Part Three of the Children’s Act, improving the condition or welfare of the children of Sierra Leone as well as advising government on policies that are compatible to the CRC.
Addressing members of the commission, President Ernest Bai Koroma said in addition to the commission’s mandate, that they must ensure they define their path in the implementation of their mandate and a great responsibility to effect what is contained in the United Nations Charter, the Child Rights Act and other relevant legislations in protecting and promoting the rights of the child. He urged the commission to stay engage in advocating on child labour, abuse and child marriage, and informed the commission that the future of the country depends on the children of the nation.
“How we nurture them, how we educate them, allowing them to have a healthy environment and inculcate values in them that will be useful to them tomorrow is crucial,” he stated. He admonished them to work very hard in implementing the commission’s programmes and activities while assuring them of government’s support. “This is a commission that has to succeed because the future of this country depends on the effectiveness of this commission,” he emphasized.
The president described children as the security of the country and looked forward to engaging other ministries to give the required support. He furthered that as the country moves forward with the implementation of transformative policies; the government has to guarantee sustainability by ensuring that children are prepared sufficiently.
Making a statement, the chairman of the commission Mr. Alhaji Bai Lama Munu pledged to use all available potentials to ensure the promotion and protection of children’s rights in the country. He said they are working on monitoring the CRC and support evidence based policies aimed at the improvement of children’s rights across the country. He pointed out that the commission has commenced effective advocacy on child labour, child marriage and child abuse.
Mr. Munu furthered that the commission has already started discussion on children’s participation and fervently supporting the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs to restructure the Children’s Forum Network. He also asked President Koroma to be the chairman of the inter-ministerial sub-committee on children.