Sierra Leone is committed to the Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons, Avers NaCSA Director
Geneva, Switzerland Monday 17 October 2022 – The Senior Director of Operations at the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), Raymond Bob Katta has averred that Sierra Leone is committed to providing support and protection for refugees and displaced persons within its territory.
He was speaking at the 73rd session of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees Executive Council in Geneva.
Mr. Katta told delegates at the session that Sierra Leone created the National Commission for Social Action shortly after the end of the civil war to provide essential services to displaced Sierra Leoneans and refugees from neighbouring countries, thus underlying her avowed commitment to protecting refugees and displaced persons.
Sierra Leone, he said, has enacted several legislative and legal instruments to enable her to effectively deliver essential social services to Sierra Leoneans and Refugees.
“The enactment of the Refugee Protection Act of 2007, being an Act to provide for the recognition and protection of refugees in Sierra Leone domesticated the following international and regional normative frameworks: (i) Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Geneva,1951), (ii) Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (1967) and (iii) OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, signed in (Addis Ababa (1969),” said Senior Director Katta.
He assured the committee that Sierra Leone would continue to support the normalisation of lives of refugees and vulnerable persons, enhancing development of a road map for UNHCR disengagement with established structures, systems, processes, and procedures for a successor project “Tenki Salone”, compensating host communities for the implementation of socio-economic infrastructure projects for concrete solutions and opportunities for the remaining caseload of 393 refugees in their respective host communities.
He said that: “Sierra Leone has developed a Statelessness policy, provided birth certificates for persons of concern (POCs) and remain committed to reducing statelessness by 2024. The Government of Sierra Leone in collaboration with UNHCR jointly developed an assistance framework for registered asylum seekers in Sierra Leone as a consequence of they benefitted from a one-off cash grant support.”
In concluding, Mr Katta called on the Executive Committee to support processes that would strengthen international, regional and national human rights regimes and mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review (APRM), African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in a bid to mitigating the root causes that trigger wars and stemming the global refugee and IDP problems.
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