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US Ambassador pays courtesy call on the CARL-SL

US Ambassador pays courtesy call on the CARL-SL

Freetown, August 12, 2011 – The United States Ambassador in Sierra Leone, Michael S. Owen, today paid a courtesy call on the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL) at the organisation’s new headquarters on 7 Percival Street, Freetown.

The Executive Director of CARL-SL, Ibrahim Tommy, told Ambassador Owen and his Public Affairs Chief Mark Carr that the organization was established in 2004 to exclusively monitor proceedings before the Special Court for Sierra Leone, but has now evolved into a national institution comprising of civil society and human rights activists committed to making Sierra Leone a just and better place for all. Mr. Tommy, who previously worked for the United States Embassy in Sierra Leone before joining CARL-SL in May this year, told Ambassador Owen that his organization monitors justice and accountability institutions, leads advocacy for institutional transparency, and undertakes capacity building programmes for other civil society groups in the country. While giving highlights of his organisation’s achievements, he said CARL-SL played a critical role in domesticating the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which led to the enactment of the three Gender Acts and the Child Rights Act in 2007. Mr. Tommy said his organization also made significant contributions to the country’s constitutional review efforts.

In addition to its ongoing activities, the Executive Director said the organization is also planning to play a critical role in the 2012 elections as part of efforts to promote a violence-free electoral process. He thanked the organisation’s donor partners, including the United States Government’s Democracy and Human Rights Funds (DHRF), for their contributions to his organization’s achievements. He noted that CARL-SL had the human resource capacity to do a lot more if it had the necessary funds.

Ambassador Owen thanked the Executive Director for his briefing and commended CARL-SL’s dedicated team of activists for their invaluable efforts in promoting justice, accountability and rule of law in the country. He stressed that local participation in governance was critical to achieving the country’s development efforts, and commended the country’s post-conflict recovery efforts. He stressed that it was important for the country to have a peaceful, free and fair democratic elections. He pledged the United States Government’s continued support to human rights and civil society organizations in the country.

Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law, Sierra Leone

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