The United Nations Sierra Leone has provided funds for the training of thirty (30) officers of the Sierra Leone Correctional Service on the theme ‘Conditions of Detention & Human Rights’. The training which will last for three days (8-10 June), is venued at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Aberdeen Freetown.
Delivering the welcome remarks, the Acting Director General of the SLCS, Ahmed Turay said the training had come at the right time because “it will serve as a fresher for officers, strengthening their knowledge in the performance of their duties with the right of inmates in mind”.
He continued saying that the SLCS Act enacted in 2014 affords a lot of attention on inmates’ rights, adding the doctrine of human rights is a direct reflection of the SLCS’ mandate.
“We have moved from punitive measures to rehabilitative and reformative ones in a bid to empower inmates to acquire knowledge while with us,” Mr. Turay explained.
He assured that he will work closely with relevant partners to ensure that the details of the training were implemented.
Stepping forward to deliver the keynote address, the Minister of Internal Affairs- Panda Noah emphasised that the government took seriously anything that concerned the security sector.
He disclosed that in recent times, the government had taken rational steps in assessing the managerial structure and treatment of inmates at the SLCS.
“Government is full committed towards the transformation of the SLCS,” the Minister assured.
He did not shy away from admitting “there are numerous human rights challenges” faced by inmates in all Correctional Centres in the country.
“This training will remind Corrections Officers that the principles of human rights should be respected and upheld at all times. The importance of human rights training for Corrections officers cannot be overemphasised. This will give them the right attitude to perform their duties in accordance with international laws in the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty. “
In his address, Dr. Babatunde Ahonsi, who is the Resident Coordinator UN SL revealed that during engagements with the government, the dominant topic was the need for the UN to support the capacity building of the staff of the SLCS.
He enlightened that at the UN they believe that all people, regardless of backgrounds, have rights and responsibilities to fulfill their potential in life.
“The training will contribute to the achievement of various sustainable development goals (SGDs). None should be left behind in this journey to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
©️SLCS OUTREACH UNIT