Legal Link Media

On Friday March 31st 2023, at the office of LEGAL LINK, representatives from 15 independent civil society organizations met and agreed to form a Consortium called The Civil Society Working Group on Elections and Human Rights in Sierra Leone, in a bid to complement the efforts of the government, National Electoral Commission, elections management bodies and other partners in conducting free, fair, inclusive, transparent and credible elections in the country.

The meeting which took place at 10 am at the official address of Legal Link, 89 Fort Street Freetown, was chaired by the Executive Director of LEGAL LINK, Rashid Dumbuya esq.

It could be recalled however that the initiative to form a CSO Working Group on elections and Human Rights was first launched in 2020 with the official signing of an M.O.U by several active CSO's in the country at the time.

Through the Working Group, many bye elections were successfully monitored and comprehensive reports on those bye elections published and submitted to the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone for action.

With the June 24th 2023 general elections at hand, the CSO Working Group has again been revived to help complement the efforts of government, ECSL and other elections management bodies for the peaceful and orderly conduct of the June 2023 general elections.

Some of the CSO's present at the meeting include the following: Legal Link, Environmental Alert, Citizens Rights Network Initiative for Justice, Peace and National Cohesion, *National Youth Coalition ,*Zero Corruption Campaign (ZCC),*Partnership for Nation Building and Forum of Sierra Leonean Youth Network (FORSLYN) to name but a few.

The objectives and mandate of the Working Group are as follows;

1. To monitor and ensure free, fair, transparent and credible elections in Sierra Leone
2. To raise awareness and sensitization on elections and the electioneering process in Sierra Leone
3. To lobby and advocate for increased support to ECSL and other Elections Management Bodies for the efficient management of elections in Sierra Leone
4. To engage in observation report writing and documentation of findings on elections and human rights in Sierra Leone
5. To make strong recommendations to the government, ECSL, international partners and other stakeholders for legal, institutional and policy reforms regarding elections in Sierra Leone.

All the members of the Working Group welcomed the idea of working together to fulfill the national objectives rather than working in silos.

Moreover, they made commitments to uphold certain ethical standards in the execution of their duties such as professionalism, objectivity, integrity, patriotism, non- partisanship and fairness.

They also committed to being nationalistic and to help in building a culture of respect for human rights in Sierra Leone.

A steering committee was later formed with members assigned to certain key roles for the efficiency of the group's operations. The Steering Committee members are as follows:

1) National Coordinator:
Rashid Dumbuya esq, Executive Director, LEGAL LINK
2) Secretary General:
Christopher Michael, Executive Director, Environmental Alert
3) Legal and Rule of Law Officer:
Thomas Moore Conteh, Executive Director, Citizens' Advocacy Network SL
4) Advocacy, Training & Education Officer:
Morlai Conteh, President, National Youth Coalition
5) Public Relations Officer:
Dr. James Mathew, Executive Director, National Campaign for Human Rights and Development(NaCford)
6) Organizing Secretary:
Ibrahim Bai Koroma, Executive Director, Citizens Rights Network
7) Voter Education Officer:
Elison John, Executive Director, Zero Corruption Campaign (ZCC)
8) Human Rights Officer:
Alusine Barrie, Partnership for Nation Building
9) Elections Officer:
Kalokoh Kargbo, Forum of Sierra Leonean Youth Network
10 Treasurer:
Lynna Cline-Coker, Initiative for Justice, Peace and National Cohesion

In conclusion, members of the CSO Working Group on Elections and Human Rights agreed on a series of action points in furtherance of their work and mandate.

Chief amongst many others is to engage in massive voter education and sensitization on the the PR system to vulnerable communities and to also effectively monitor the June 24th, 2023 general elections and produce a report thereon for public consumption.

Moreover, a WhatsApp group has also been formed to enhance efficiency in communications amongst the membership.

Membership of the CSO Working Group on Elections and Human Rights is open to all Interested CSO's and related partners who are passionate and willing to collaborate in promoting good governance, rule of law, respect for Human Rights and a free, fair and credible elections come June 24th 2023 in Sierra Leone.


Rashid Dumbuya Esq Executive Director of LEGAL LINK and former Commissioner for Human Rights in Sierra Leone On behalf of the LEGAL LINK Team.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED* Note: Some pics of Blacka and Rashid Dumbuya Esq, Executive Director of LEGAL LINK are shared with this update. ABOUT LEGAL LINK

Christian Lawyers Centre (a.k.a LEGAL LINK) is a non-profit legal advocacy group comprising of lawyers, law students and human right activists that seeks to provide legal assistance to religious communities as well as vulnerable groups in Sierra Leone through legal advocacy, education and training, public interest litigations, state and private sector accountability, enforcement of the rule of law and ensuring respect for domestic and international laws that guarantee fundamental human rights and freedoms.

For more information, contact us at: No. 89 Fort Street, Off Circular Road, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa Email: rashiddum@yahoo.co.uk Tel: +23279167457 / +23288646294 Website: www.legallinksierraleone.org  



Legal Link Media Team