By Musa Kamara
The National Commission for Children (NCC), on Friday 18th December 2020, presented to partners their Operational/Work Plan for the Year 2021. The presentation was done at their Head Office on 9A Bass Street, Brookfields in Freetown, and amongst partners present were the Children’s Forum Network (CFN), Save the Children, Child Right Coalition, SOS Children’s Village, and a host of others.
In her comments marking the presentation, the Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs- Marty Tarawallie, acknowledged the integral role NCC is playing in the protection of children across the country, and she declared that the Ministry stands with NCC, and she assured of helping the Commission solicits funds from donor partners thereby, keeping the Commission up and running with no interference.
NCC’s Commissioner- Joyce Tejan-Kella commended the donor partners for their supports to NCC over the years and he called on them to continue to do same come 2021.
In his presentation of the NCC’s 2021 Work Plan, Fabundeh Ansumana who is the Deputy Commissioner enlightened that the Medium-Term National Development Plan- Cluster 5 speaks on the empowerment of women, children and Persons with Disability.
He maintained in that direction that NCC’s has outlined 8 Strategic Objectives for 2021, and whereby, Objective 1for instance, talks about monitoring and assessing the impact of violence against children, Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), COVID-19, drug and alcohol abuse, juvenile justice, education, HIV/AIDS, trafficking/labour, malaria, children with disability.
The Deputy Commissioner made it very clear that the Government of Sierra Leone has only committed SLL 1Bn, and the Commission needs over SLL 6Bn in order to successfully implement the laid down objectives.
Alhaji K. Yillah who is NCC’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer (M&E), explicitly mentioned that NCC is an independent body that was established by an Act of Parliament, and in accordance with the Child Rights Act (CRA) of 2007.
He informed that the institution’s mandate is to advise government on policies centered on upgrading children’s welfare and condition in line with the Convention and Charter on the Rights of the Child.
He outlined that the functions of the Commission cut across strategic areas that has to do with carrying out a study and review of principles that are in the best interest of the child; contribute in the decentralization process that ensures the registration of every child at birth, and to also ensure that the child has access to healthcare and free basic education.
He furthered by stating that amongst other vital functions of the Commission is to not only seek but also mobilize international support directed to the implementation of the Convention and Charter by government and non-governmental institutions with the solid aim of addressing issues of discrimination against women and children, and to also ensure that there is the provision of the much-needed facilities to support proper management of juvenile law-breakers.
“What we also do is to issue reports, including recommendations on child rights in Sierra Leone,” he added.