JUSTICE AND PEACE AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, DIOCESE OF MAKENI. For just and equitable world REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2005/ 2006
Contents • Profile of JPHRC …………………3 • Goals of JPHRC ………………….4 • What does JPHRC do …………….5 • Good Governance ………………...5 • Human Rights …………………..…5 • Women’s Empowerment .…………6 • Capacity building of Councillors ….6 • Challenges of Research ……………7 • Access to Justice Programmes …….8 • Achievement – Access to Justice ....9 • Impact Stories ..…………………..10 • Councillors ……………………...11 • Women ..………………………….12 • Access to Justice …………………13 • 12. JPHRC summarised accounts.……14 • 13. Where do we work? ……………15 • 14. Vision, Mission and core Values ...16 • Profile of JPHRC • The Justice and Peace and Human Rights Commission in the Diocese of Makeni, was instituted by the Bishop of the Diocese of Makeni. • The Commission initiates and implement practical and sustainable Peace Building, Good Governance, Human Rights and Access to Justice issuesfor the poor. • These include Challenges in Research and Publications on issues in the five Judicial Districts in the Diocese of Makeni. • The Commission seeks to analyse and judge social issues in the light of the Gospel and the Social Teachings of the Church and present their findings for plan of action by the Diocese. Director JPHRC Rev Fr. Joseph A.Turay ( In front)
What are the Goals of JPHRC? • To promote peace education and human rights • among target communities in the Northern • Region • ·To enable communities to participate, monitor • and evaluate the District Recovery Strategy • Programme (DRSP) through workshops and • awareness raising sessions in the region • ·To encourage the active participation of women in • the overall development programmes • ·To train community animators, peace educators, • chiefdom development committees in the • Northern region • To promote the access to Justice programmes • for the people in the Northern Communities in • the Diocese of Makeni • To enable men, women and youths to • participate in the monitoring and evaluation of • the PRSP through trainings, seminars / • workshops and awareness raising sessions • ·To facilitate research and publication on how has • the Decentralisation process reduced poverty • in Northern region in the view of the • intervention of NaCSA and the RRI projects. • To create an efficient data base for the • Commission • ·To make visible, the activities realised as • support of decision making analysis • and research publication • ·To start the process by introducing • GIS/GPS (Geographic Information • System/ Global Positioning System) • to JPHRC operators in analysing data • To enable the vulnerable community • members especially the women and • youths to access justice in the • Diocese of Makeni • To sensitise law enforcers on their role in • the dispensation of justice especially • in the Chiefdom Local courts in the • region A makeshift Primary School for children - Masuba
What does JPHRC do? • JPHRC is involved in development and capacity building in the five Judicial Districts in the Northern Region (Diocese of Makeni). The overall focus areas are: • Good Governance (Decentralisation, PRSP) • Peace Building • Human Rights • Women’s Empowerment • Access to Justice for the poor • Research and Publication • Good Governance (Decentralisation, PRSP) • JPHRC desires to strengthen Civil Society Organisations as active advocates of the poor and marginalised people’s rights in the political arena. At the same time, JPHRC supports personnel capacity building in the Local Councils in governance and its functionaries particularly with the aim of improving interactions with local /rural communities. JPHRC works with local authorities, religious groups and other civil society groups. • With the local authorities, JPHRC embarks on Consultation and seeks to facilitate a common understanding between stakeholders and their subjects in identifying and addressing local challenges. Human RightsJPHRC in collaboration with Access to Justice Law Center and other human rights organisations in the Diocese of Makeni, worked and still works for the dignity of people to be recognised. This is done through sensitisations on child abuse, domestic violence and other sexual offences against women and children. The Access to Justice programme in the JPHRC has become a very strong advocate for human dignity in terms of legal representation and advice for the marginalised. Today, JPHRC in Makeni Sierra Leone operates in Bombali, Tonkolili, Koinadugu, Port Loko and Kambia Districts An issue of Child Abuse in the Rural Communities
Women’s Empowerment JPHRC acts as motivator in mounting a sensitisation campaign for women’s empowerment. It is done through awareness raising drive for women to recognise their rights in decision making and in politics since women have been considered only as child bearers cooks and taking care of the home in the Northern region. Rallies and workshops had been ongoing in the Major headquarter towns in the Northern Region. Speeches were made by stakeholders and women with higher standards of education and occupations. These activities involved students and women from all works of life making their voices heard in decision making structures. CAPACITY BUILDING OF COUNCILLORS. The JPHRC has embarked on the training of the Local Councils in Financial Management in the Region. This initiative came up as a result of the lack of business management methods in the councils. The training which started as a pilot project for the Makeni City Council was deemed necessary for the entire Northern Region. It was done in two collaborative phases – with the Fatima Institute, for Paramount Chiefs and Councillors and the outreach, for Chiefdom Administrations, Councils and Communities. “We need our voices to be Heard in decision Making” Financial Management training for Councillors and Paramount Chiefs at the Fatima Institute.
Challenges of Research. • In 2005,the JPHRC produced an assessment report on the participation of the civil society groups in the Decentralisation process in the Northern Region. • In 2006,the JPHRC in collaboration with the Fatima Institute has taken the challenges in assessing the impact of the activities of social organisations (NaCSA) and the RRI projects on the people in the Bombali District as a case study. The draft report of this assessment had been produced and ready to be published. • Within the Communities assessed, three indicators were focused; these were: • Level of Participation of the community in the district for both NaCSA and the RRI activities • The level of Transparency of the Social Organisations as perceived by the communities in the District. • The Appreciation of the work of the Organisations by the people in the Chiefdoms in the District. The JPHRC require the needs of the people to be addressed and Their Human Dignity observed through their participation In decision making And activities That lead to their Human and Social development
THE JPHRC/ ACCESS TO JUSTICE LAW CENTER (JPHRC/AJLC) PROJECT OVERVIEW The Access to Justice Law Center (ATJLC) was established within the Justice and Peace and Human Rights Commission (JPHRC), in January 2005, with the mandate to initiate and implement community legal education and Access to Justice for the Poor Projects. The Law Center is Managed and run by a firm of qualified Legal Practitioners C & J, Partners Barristers and Solicitors. The Community Legal Educations activities of the Law Center’s Access to Justice for the Poor are implemented by trained Paralegals who directly supervised by a qualified Legal Practitioner. Legal Advice and Representation is provided by a team of three Legal Practitioners and supported by an Assistant Program Manager and six Paralegals. GOALS OF ACCESS TO JUSTICE LAW CENTER It contributes to the goal that community members in targeted areas in Sierra Leone are able to access and apply Justice in their lives, through community based legal education and the provision of effective, safe and secures Legal Services for the poor in our communities.
A2J as it is known locally aimed to fill a gap in the Sierra Leone’s legal system that is the lack of legal representation available for the country’s poor, especially its women and children, as well as the unemployed. The program was just getting off the ground when 54 workers at Makeni Town Council were made redundant. When the former employees hadn’t received their redundancy pay within 45 days required by the Sierra Leone Law, they started to get anxious. Security guards, laborers, due-collectors Drivers, Cooks and Cleaners- the Council’s lowest paid workers- were not only left without work, but without any means of supporting their families while they looked for further employment. The total amount due to the workers was £ 40,000. Many of the workers, about 20 of them were women, had worked for the Council for 20 or 30 years so redundancy hit them hard. They were therefore extremely disheartened and concerned about their future. Over the course of a year A2J has worked tirelessly to get justice for the workers. A2J wrote letters explaining how the Council in breach of employment laws and demanding payment for the redundant workers. But the Council unable to afford the payments referred all of A2J’s letters to the Minister of Local Government and Community Development in Freetown. Neither Makeni Town Council nor the Local Government responded to A2J’s correspondences. The failure of the Makeni Town Council and the National Government to respond backed A2J into the corner. On the 14th July 2006, a year and half after the workers had been made redundant and after A2J had exhausted all other options, they finally had no choice but to ask the High Court of Sierra Leone to issue an order to freeze the accounts and assets of the Makeni Town Council for the recovery of more than £35,000, plus interest, and a writ of affray for the seizure of those assets. Having their Bank accounts frozen and vehicles seized finally made them sit up and take notice; it only took a few weeks later for them to get the money from the Central Government. So on the 14th August 2006; having finally received money from the central Government, Makeni Town Council released enough funds to pay the workers half of the amount they were due nearly £40,000. A2J also ensured that the Council signed an undertaking to pay the rest of the money by the end of the year. If they don’t, their assets will be seized again. The most joyful part was seeing the happy faces of the workers. After all that time they finally got the Justice they deserved. A2J is now flooded with Clients as we think all 54 workers must have told their friends and families about A2J. ACHIEVEMENTS OF ACCESS TO JUSTICE FOR THE POOR PROGRAMME.A CASE STUDY OF REDUNDANT WORKERS AT THE MAKENI CITY COUNCIL.
Impact Stories. Councillors. • From Councillor Adama Fannah, the following has been achieved through the training and collaboration with the Justice and Peace: • Sensitisation on developmental issues in Makeni • Succeeded to be a member of a 12-man committee organisation and facilitated by the Justice and Peace Commission for the development of Bombali District with special reference to the township of Makeni. • Can priotise developmental needs • Financial capacity building in financial documents /statements and the different types of accounts etc • Awareness in decision making process through active participation in public meetings and giving inputs • Can challenge issues on financial management in offices and departments. Councillors – Sento Conteh(right) and Adama Fannah (Left) From Councillor, Madam Sento Conteh, I can interpret financial statements / documents in her capacity through the ongoing training facilitated by the Justice and Peace and Human Rights Commission. I can distinguish between current and savings account and can challenge issues pertaining to Financial Management on projects and office / departments.
Women Initially, we were considered child bearers, keeping and taking care of the home and other domestic activities. The continuous sensitisation messages and rallies organised by the Justice and Peace and Human Rights Commission in the Diocese has created awareness in us to participate in decision making processes. Our capacity to be bold has been injected by JPHRC to speak in public forum / fora and to give contributions. We can even vie for political positions and discuss issues at community / national level. Bravo to JPHRC. Women from Tambiama in the Gbendembu Ngowahun Chiefdom in the Bombali District
Pa. Usman Koroma, Headman, Mange Loko, Makari Gbanti Chiefdom: “On behalf of my community members,I want to thank the Justice and Peace and Human Rights Commission / Access to Justice Law Center for conducting awareness raising sensitisation on sexual offences, domestic violence and child abuse in our communities at a time when these offences are common … the role-play and short skits have raised our awareness of the causes and their adverse effects on the victim, family and our community …. We as a community pledge our support for this initiative and will work together with the JPHRC to support victims of GBV and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice, thereby reducing considerably the occurrences of these offences in our communities”. Ms. Councillor Mary Koroma from Makama Community in the Bombali Sebora Chiefdom, Bombali District: “We are happy to be part of the campaign against sexual offences, domestic violence and child abuse in our community. In in past, we have under-estimated the effects of these offences. The JPHRC’s initiative on community sensitisation will surely increase community awareness on the effects of these offences, thereby ensuring just and equitable remedy for victims”. Paramount Chief’s representative- Sengbeh Chiefdom, Koinadugu District, Pa. Balasama Marah: “We have not been treating sexual offences, domestic violence and child abuse matters in our communities with the seriousness they deserve. As a result of this sensitisation we will now treat these matters the seriousness they deserve ……..”. IMPACT STORIES CONTD.
WHERE WE WORK Work of the JPHRC in the Diocese of Makeni.Locations include, Bombali, Tonkolili, Koinadugu, Port Loko and Kambia Districts.
JPHRC’s Vision, Mission and Core Values INTRODUCTION The Justice and Peace and Human Rights Commission in the Diocese of Makeni, was instituted by the Bishop of the Diocese of Makeni to initiate and implement practical and sustainable Peace Building, Good Governance and Human Rights issues in the Diocese of Makeni which comprises the Bombali, Tonkolili, Koinadugu, Port Loko and Kambia Districts. • CORE VALUES • The values that inspires JPHRC’s work are: • SOLIDARITY – We work alongside with the poor and marginalised communities in the Northern Region through solidarity, uniting with them in prayer and supporting them in their advocacy and challenging the policies and systems that keep them poor. • PARTNERSHIP – JPHRC work in collaboration with partner organisations of both national/ International and civil society organisations. • DIGNITY – We believe in the intrinsic dignity of every human person. We work with all, regardless of race, gender or religion. We create relationship of mutual respect. • HOPE- Our hope is inspired by the Catholic Faith through the Catholic Social Teachings of the Church. VISION Justice and Peace and Human Rights Commission, Diocese of Makeni, inspired by the Gospel and the Catholic Social Teachings aims at institutionalizing the promotion and protection of a popular Human Rights culture for a just and equitable society for all. MISSION The Catholic Justice and Peace and Human Rights Commission in the Diocese of Makeni, fully aware of the Human Rights situations in Sierra Leone, seeks to analyse and judge human rights issues through sustainable advocacy, lobbying, campaigning, awareness raising, sensitisation and networking in the bid to promoting respect for human rights and good governance.