VP Office, Freetown, Monday 2nd August 2021– The ECOWAS Commissioner of Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Siga Fatima Jagne, has paid a courtesy call on His Excellency Vice-President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh and commended President Bio’s leadership in the steps so far taken in addressing issues of gender in the country.
Leading the Delegation to the Vice-President, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai introduced and welcomed the team.
The Commissioner also thanked Vice President Juldeh Jalloh for the opportunity to visit Sierra Leone, while also extending greetings from the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.
She said that her visit was also part of an Integrated In-Country High-Level Advocacy on the implementation of the ECOWAS International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Trafficking In-Persons (TIP), Gender-Based Violence, and Child Rights Text in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Your Excellency, I want to commend the government for its continued efforts to identify and address weaknesses in the protection situation of its citizens. Beyond the High Level advocacy, my team will conduct a three days Technical Coordination and Capacity building workshop with relevant stakeholders to highlight commonalities and linkages between the various areas of work of government agencies and civil society”, said Dr. Jagne.
She stated several proposals for the attention of the Government of Sierra Leone, among which the establishment of Sierra Leone Protection and Human Security Integrated Coordination Mechanism comprising Government of Sierra Leone and Civil Society actors be hosted in the Office of the Vice President.
In his brief statement, Vice President Juldeh Jalloh thanked the Commissioner for her visit, commending the effort of the ECOWAS Commission in taking the lead to advocate on key elements around Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, IHL and Child Rights issues, among others.
“I am particularly pleased that such advocacy was coming from our own ECOWAS body. With all of the challenges, we realized the importance of these elements and as a government instituted firm actions to addressing them by particularly with the declaring of a State of Emergency on Child Sexual Abuse, and establishing reforms and institutions to address these issues,” VP Juldeh Jalloh explained.
He further stated actions such as the appointed of an Adviser on SGBV Issues at the Office of the Vice President, the separation of Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs from Social Welfare Ministry and their role in combatting Sexual and Gender Based Violence, especially with the National Male Involvement Strategy for the prevention of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Sierra Leone they had developed.
The Vice President said that the New Direction Government had established institutions such as the Special Magistrates Courts to fast track adjudication in such cases, the one-stop center for sexual violence survivors that provide psychosocial support and treatment including other measures deployed in tackling International Humanitarian Law, Trafficking In-person, SGBV and Child Rights issues in the country.
“There is an increased vigilance in addressing these issues. The President Bio Agenda on Human Capital Development also firmly seeks to address issues of this nature”, he ended.
The ECOWAS Delegation also included Hajiya Raheemat Momodu, Mrs. Ali Tiloh, Bassasso Essosinau and Mr. Osondu Ekeh.
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