DCI Sierra Leone is part of several networks campaigning for or against specific issues that affect children at international, regional, national and local levels:
Kick Ebola Virus out of Sierra Leone- In the fight to completely eradicate the ebola virus disease in Sierra Leone, we urge the government of Sierra Leone and the international community to rebuild the entire health system of the country, ensuring that the system has essential services and trained personnel and protection for the health workers. Additionally, since women are at more risk than men to be infected by the ebola virus disease as aresult of traditional gender roles, wherein women – both formally, as first line health care workers, and informally, within the family and community - are often intimately involved in the care of the sick and dying, and in the handling of the bodies of those who have passed away. Hence DCI-SL agitates Gender Sensitive Approach is key to the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease
Global study on Children deprived of their Liberty. This campaign has been launched by the International Secretariat and the International Executive Council of Defence for Children International. This Study would aim to map out – through monitoring and evaluation analysis – how existing international laws and standards are being implemented on the ground and assess the concrete possibilities for States to improve their policies and responses. Through the collection of sound evidence and reliable data, the Study would also provide a consolidation of good practices and the formulation of recommendations. To know more, please click here..
The African Union to adoption of the Guidelines on Action for Child Friendly Justice in Africa: These Guidelines were drafted at a Global Child Justice Conference that was organized by Defence for Children International and the African Child Policy Forum in Kampala in November 2011. The Guidelines have been adopted by the Committee of Experts on the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, that monitors State parties implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The Committee is expected to be using the Guidelines to review State parties periodic report on the implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. We are now engaging the African Union to adopt the Guidelines as an Optional Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. To know more please check www.kampalaconference.org
Stop the practices of Child Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage:As a member of the Child Rights Coalition Sierra Leone and the Country Steering Committee of the Global Girl Power project of the Dutch Child Rights Alliance, we campaign for a legislative ban on child female genital mutilation and also the full implementation of the Child Rights Act 2007 that prohibits child marriage (marriage below age 18years). This campaign is backed up by effective social mobilization efforts through community engagement. We raise the awareness and understanding of the people in the communities to raise their awareness about the dangers of child FGM and early and forced marriage of children so that the messages can appeal to them to voluntarily stop these practices.
Comprehensive and updated laws on juvenile justice: Government to review the outmoded laws governing juvenile justice administration in Sierra Leone in particular the Children and Young Persons Act (CAP 44) of the Laws of Sierra Leone 1960 vol 1. In addition to the new juvenile justice law, we also urge the government to adopt Guidelines on Diversion
Constitutional provision for definition of citizenship that is non discriminatory- The ongoing Constitutional review process should include a provision that defines citizenship devoid of any discriminatory conditions. The clause should also reinforce existing legislations that guaranteeuniversal Birth Registration
Child Protection Regulation/Code for the tourism industry and companies- This is to ensure that the tourism industry including hotels, pubs and other entertainment centres and commercial institutions including transnational companies adopt policies and practices that restrain their staff and associates from exploiting and abusing children. They should also not provide the stage for other people to exploit and/or abuse children.
Establishment of public trust fund for victims of sexual violence- The Sexual Offences provides that “When a person is convicted of an offence under this Act, the court may, in addition to any other punishment order the person convicted to pay the victim such sum as appears to the court to be reasonable compensation” DCI-SL has observed that most often, convicts are not capable to pay such compensations upfront due to poor financial status. As a result, DCI-SL is urging government to establish a victims’ trust fund that can be used for compensation of victims as a kind of loan to the perpetrator. Such a trust fund can be established from fines collected by the court.