Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 11th Session
Universal Periodic Review of Sierra Leone
Statement by Australia
5 May 2011
Australia welcomes the delegation from Sierra Leone and appreciates its constructive engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process.
We commend Sierra Leone for its commitment to post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation. We congratulate the Government of Sierra Leone on being one of the first countries to request to be considered by the UN Peace Building Commission
We welcome Sierra Leone’s record in ratifying international human rights treaties and call on Sierra Leone to implement these commitments domestically. Australia also encourages Sierra Leone to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
We note efforts made by Sierra Leone to address a number of human rights issues, including addressing corruption and improving access to justice, health and education. However, we continue to be concerned by reports of extended periods of detention without trial resulting, in part, from a lack of prosecutorial capacity. Reports of impunity especially in cases of gender-based violence are also of deep concern, as are reports of exploitation of child labour.
While recognising the significant resource constraints faced by the Government, Australia encourages Sierra Leone to prioritise the strengthening of its judicial system. For its part, Australia has been pleased to provide assistance to the Special Court for Sierra Leone and also to contribute to efforts to promote peace-building in Sierra Leone.
Australia recommends Sierra Leone:
1. Implement fully the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission;
2. Allocate the resources required for the Sierra Leone Human Rights Commission to carry out its core statutory functions; and
3. Develop national plans of action on children and on human rights.