Defence for Children - Sierra Leone (DCI-SL) was founded in 1998 during the peak of Sierra Leonean civil war, a time when the rights of many child citizens were gravely violated. It was initially established to monitor and document violations of children’s rights and to provide legal assistance to child victims of violence and children in conflict with the law, including children who were detained and accused of being rebels.Though DCI-SL is a local and independent chapter, it develops its programs based on the core principles and values of the Defence for Children international movement. Defence for Children International Sierra Leone is also a member of the ECPAT International movement that fights against child sex tourism.
DCI-SL envisions that children’s voices are heard and that their rights are protected in both law and practice at national and community levels.
DCI-SL has its head office in Freetown, and branch offices in five different districts with more than forty staff and volunteers spread over the four regions of Sierra Leone.
The main thrust of DCI-SL’s programme is to work towards the strengthening of the child protection system to have good policies and strong mechanisms that can guarantee the safety and development of all children irrespective of their background or where they live. These include supporting local initiatives and efforts that address underlying vulnerabilities of children and their families. This is the reason why we provide legal assistance to children to be able to seek legal redress, claim and defend their rights particularly when they are victims of abuse/violence, or in conflict with the law or in need of certain legal rights. We also provide psychosocial support and socio-economic empowerment for children and their families living in very vulnerable situation as part of prevention measures.
DCI- Sierra Leone and Plan Sierra Leone launch programme to combat violence against girls and young women in Sierra Leo ne .Read More
“Interning with DCI is what opened the door for me to work with other organizations, such as World Bank, World Vision, Save the Children, and others. However, it also allowed me the independence to find my passion, and create programs I was most passionate about - all the while, fully supporting my desire to learn more and give back. The staff is unbelievably committed, and are great resources. Elika Dadsetan
“My experience with DCI-SL truly highlighted the importance of community engagement in advocating for change and holding those in power accountable to the people. By providing direct services to youth in need and advocating for progressive policy change, DCI-SL is actively reshaping the juvenile justice system in Sierra Leone. I feel lucky to have contributed to the organization’s efforts”. Samah Mcgona New York University School of Law
Sexual abuse and exploitation are grave human rights violation, which particularly affect women and children. In Sierra Leone alone, 2,201 cases of sexual assault were reported to the Family Support Unit in 2014 - this up from 1,485 in 2013. In spite of prohibition in international, regional and national laws, the practice remains widespread. Persistent poverty, specific position and vulnerabilities of children and women, and the general lack of knowledge and awareness about the issue are all to blame. Read More
Defence for Children International takes effective measures to combat child trafficking in West Africa
National sections of Defence for Children International (DCI) in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone train border security and immigration officials and local community actors to reinforce child protection systems and better prevent and combat child trafficking.
Fifteen years after the adoption of the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) declaration, and subsequent plan of action on the fight against trafficking in persons, child trafficking remains a reality in the region, particularly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. As stated by the United States Department of State, the three above-mentioned countries continue to be, in 2016, source, transit and/or destination countries for children subjected to forced labour and sexual exploitation .Read More
As part of its post Ebola advocacy interventions, Defence for Children International Sierra Leone engages the government of Sierra Leone, donor partners and the international community to address child and family poverty and ensure that vulnerable children including children that were directly affected by the Ebola Virus Disease have free access to education, health care and other basic services. In this regard, the organization continues to campaign for implementation of social protection policy in Sierra Leone as a means to address vulnerabilities of families and children. At the 25th anniversary conference of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Childwhich was held in Addis Ababa on 21st November 2015, Defence for Children Sierra Leone presented a paper on the efficacy of social protection in restoring the human rights of children affected by the Ebola Virus Disease in Sierra Leone. Read More
DEFENCE FOR GIRLS AND HOPE GIRL SIERRA LEONE
Girls and young women from communities that were worst affected by the September 16th flood raise concern over slow government response We are girls of the Defence for Girls group and young women of Hope Girl Sierra Leone. These groups were established by the Defence for Children International under the Girl Power Project. These groups were established since five years ago in very challenging communities in the Western Area of Sierra Leone and Moyamba district to address issues and barriers to the protection, survival and development of the Girl Child. Read More
Defence for Children Sierra Leone promotes Healing, Reconciliation and Recovery for Ebola Virus Disease Affected children and families at community level. The case of Rosanda Community Bombali- 25th July 2015
The outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in Sierra Leone has affected the lives of over 12,000 individuals, families and communities. The impact of the virus has gone far beyond its infection and killing rate, and has created several social and economic problems for the people. The outbreak has undermined peaceful coexistence of people in the community, increased poverty and exacerbated vulnerabilities of children. Though infection rate has ,Read More.
DCI joins the crusade on “GRILS’ RIGHTS ON EDUCATION” in Geneva
Defence for Children International Sierra Leone has joined a group of child protection experts “to discuss the social, cultural and financial barriers that exist to girls’ right to education in West Africa especially in Sierra Leone.”The session which took place in Geneva, Switzerland attracted key child protection actors from the United Nations, the University of Essex, Europe and Africa.Read More
“Ebola devastated me because I am physically challenged”
Alice Sam (15) from Boamawohun, Bo lost her father and is a survivor of Ebola. She is illiterate, physically challenged and has mobility issues – her story illustrates the difficulties of a girl in a typical village setting and of an unhealthy Ebola survivor.
A week after the death of her father, Alice showed signs and symptoms of Ebola and was tested positive for the disease. She however thankfully survived and since then the worse started for this young girl. Read More
“We only had to stick to the rule...”
From the East of Gorama Mande Chiefdom, Kenema positioned Konta-a small community that is approximately seven (7) miles away from Mano Mayamba- a village that accounted for over 45% of Ebola related deaths in an almost forgotten chiefdom where access to safe drinking water, better sanitation, health care system, and good hygiene practices is of abysmal state.
When Ebola hit Gorama Mande Chiefdom, the inhabitants of Konta had no formal knowledge on how to prevent the disease from t'Read More
“I had no choice but to help...”
Morie Alpha (21) from Kenema lost his elder brother-Amadu and 65 others to Ebola when the disease struck his village of Mano.
Morie already had two wives and 4 children and after the dead of his brother, he volunteered to care for his later brother’s 8 children and made her bereaved wife his third spouse. Every day Morie is joined by his three wives, four children and 8 Ebola orphans to work in the forest, mining coal to sell and feed them. Selling is not always possible though . Read More
"It was not easy to console me…”
Yayuh Williams (31) knows how life depends on good health and sanitation. She lives in Tikonko, Sierra Leone, a small village of 500 people where farming is the major source of livelihood.
When the brutal Ebola crisis hit Tikonko Chiefdom, her household was no exception as ten (10) people including her husband had already succumbed to the virus. Three days after the dead of her husband, her baby son (Philip) suddenly fell sick with Ebola and was taken to the Ebola Treatment Centre at Gondama, Bo District. He however survived the disease.Read More