07 December 2022
150 women detainees receive dignity kits & human rights education.
Amid singing and dancing, and after discussions on human rights in detention, 150 women detained at the Female Correctional Center in Freetown were on Friday, 2nd December 2022, presented with dignity kits composed of adult female underwear, tailor-made loose dress(gown), sanitary pads, under pants for girls, loose gown for girls, lappa, flashlight & flashlight batteries, toothbrush, toothpaste, bathing soap (bar), hand sanitiser, laundry soap, whistle, and slippers donated by the United Nations Population Fund ( UNFPA ). The joint UNFPA-UN Women supported initiative was undertaken as part of activities organized by the UN in Sierra Leone in the context of the the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Christian MUKOSA, the Senior Human Rights Advisor (SHRA) in Sierra Leone, led the team composed of staff from UN Women, UNFPA, the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs, and volunteers from Community Initiative for Peace and Children Foundation (CIPCF), a national NGO. In his presentation, the SHRA emphasised on the right of a person in detention and that being in prison does not mean the end of life. “In prison, you still have your rights to be respected and protected, and this comes with obligations and responsibilities,” Mukosa said and reiterated that human rights are for everyone and that no one should be left behind. UN Women and UNFPA representatives explained their mandates and work and the significance of the 16-Days of Activism against GBV. The counsellor from CIPCF reflected on trauma and the need for support to all women in prison. This was echoed by the Director of the Female Correctional Center and in the statement of the Deputy Director General of the Sierra Leone Correctional Service. During the plenary session, some of the detainees explained their understanding of human rights and the 16 Days of Activism and asked clarification questions about their rights in prison. They expressed happiness and requested more outreach activities within their detention facility. Aminata Turay, the Gender Focal Point at the facility said that GBV prevention education is also vital in the Correctional Centre. “All I need is gender empowerment,” she concluded to the applause of other inmates.