The mandate of the UNIOSIL Human Rights and Rule of Law Section includes assisting the Government in 1) building the capacity of institutions combating the root causes of the conflict, 2) establishing the National Human Rights Commission; 3) developing a national Action Plan for human rights ; and 4) strengthening the rule of law, including by developing the independence and the capacity of the justice system.
In furtherance of this mandate, OHCHR, jointly with UNAMSIL, the Government of Sierra Leone, and the UN Country Team organized a three-day Human Rights Stakeholders Conference in Freetown , from 6 to 8 December 2005 to review the human rights situation in the country. The Conference assessed the successes, challenges, and constraints and identified a number of priority human rights challenges in four thematic areas: i) legislative development and legal reform; ii) implementation of recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report; iii) institutional development; and iv) capacity building
Building upon the foundation laid by UNAMSIL, UNIOSIL will consolidate the creation of a culture of respect for human rights and the rule of law through human rights education. To detect early warning signals and prevent a relapse to violence, UNIOSIL will monitor the human rights situation in the country and periodically report on them to the appropriate institutions of government with the view of taking the appropriate corrective actions.
No foundation for peace and stability can be laid in a country emerging from conflict if it is not grounded on respect for the rule of law. UNIOSIL Human Rights Section will assist in strengthening the rule of law, promote the independence of the judiciary, and enhance the capacity of the police and correction systems in conformity with international standards and principles. In this regard, UNIOSIL will facilitate the ratification and domestication of relevant international human rights treaties by government; harmonize existing legislation with international standards; enhance compliance with the reporting obligation of the Government under human rights treaty bodies; and improve access to justice.
The implementation of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is crucial to the consolidation of peace in Sierra Leone . UNIOSIL Human Rights and Rule of Law Section will provide technical support to the government of Sierra Leone for the implementation of the recommendations of the TRC; facilitate wide dissemination and sensitization on the TRC Report; and facilitate the establishment of a "Trust Fund" for the implementation of the reparations program.