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U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Sierra Leone
January 27, 2016

UPR 24th Session, Geneva, January 27, 2016

-as delivered-

The United States welcomes the delegation of Sierra Leone to the UPR Working Group.

We commend Sierra Leone’s continued progress, in light of the serious obstacles placed on the country due to the Ebola crisis, on increasing protections for migrant laborers and fostering accountability for police through the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints Board.

We recognize that Sierra Leone has made advances in eliminating the worst forms of child labor; however, we note that considerable work remains to be done.

The United States is concerned that the government has not prevented the misuse of criminal libel laws to restrict freedom of expression, devoted adequate resources to combat trafficking in persons, or address prolonged pretrial detention and very poor prison conditions.

We are also concerned about arbitrary arrests of journalists and the harassment of opposition politicians and their supporters.

We recommend that the Government of Sierra Leone:

Take effective measures to provide adequate legal and other assistance for domestic and international trafficking victims, and intensify efforts to identify and prosecute trafficking cases.

Refrain from arbitrary arrest and the use of criminal libel laws against and harassment of journalists and opposition members.

Consider alternatives to prolonged pretrial detention and provide adequate resources to address poor prison conditions.


(end statement)