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NHRC wants implementation plan of TRRC White Paper now

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By Alagie Manneh

The National Human Rights Commission has urged government to “take the necessary steps” to finalise and release its implementation plan of the government white paper on the TRRC recommendations

In May 2022, government published the white paper on the TRRC report but its plan for the implementation of the recommendations is yet to be made public.

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Addressing the issue in its recently published State of Human Rights Report,the NHRC noted: “Although the government has taken positive steps towards implementing the TRRC recommendations,in June 2022 the Attorney General and Minister of Justice disclosed before the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights and Constitutional Matters that the Government has experienced setbacks in the implementation of the recommendations due to limited resources and challenges in resource mobilisation. Notwithstanding, the attorney general assured the committee that the “government is sensitive to the plight of victims” who remain at the centre of the process. The NHRC encourages the government to release its much-awaited implementation plan on the white paper as well as its Prosecutorial Strategy. These documents are expected to contribute to managing public expectations on the implementation process, allay fears of victims and victim-led organisations about the political will to implement the recommendations and support the Commission to effectively monitor the implementation of the recommendations.

The release of the white paper, the NHRC added, was positively received by the public. “Since the release of the white paper and towards efforts of its implementation, the government has suspended 22 individuals adversely mentioned in the TRRC Report and drafted a Reparations Bill 2022 which would establish the Victims Reparations Commission. With the support of partners, the ministry of justice has held several discussions with stakeholders about the Bill, including victims-focused organisations. The government has committed to prosecuting individuals who bear the greatest responsibility for human rights violations and abuses and set up a Special Prosecutor’s Office under the ministry of justice.”

Being assigned the responsibility to observe the implementation of the white paper, the NHRC said it has developed an online monitoring tool to track the implementation of the recommendations.

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It called on the government, particularly the justice ministry, to amongst others “expedite the drafting and reviewing of the Reparations Bill and table it before the National Assembly; continue engaging stakeholders in the implementation of the white paper; allocate adequate financial resources for the implementation of the white paper; and recruit the necessary personnel to Man.

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