Defence for Children International-Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Priority Issues

  • Children’s rights
  • Women’s rights
  • Transparency and anti-corruption
  • Justice and rule of law
  • Land and resource rights
  • LGBTI rights

Began Program: 2003

When we began our program in Serra Leone in 2003, the country had just lifted a four-year state of emergency after more than a decade of bloody civil war. Elections had been held in 2002, but the country was only beginning to recover from years of extreme brutality, marked by widespread sexual violence and massive devastation of the country’s infrastructure.

Civil society organizations immediately took to tackling the country’s major post-conflict challenges: judicial reform, refugees, child soldiers, and women’s rights. Since then, Sierra Leone’s diverse human rights groups have led the charge in promoting and defending human rights on a much broader scale.

“The Fund helps small organizations with the right attitude and focus grow into bigger and viable ones. The regular contact, technical assistance, dialogue about indicators, and monitoring visits are truly unique attributes that certainly help grantees work better.”
Ibrahim Tommy, Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law, Sierra Leone

Our Strategy

Over the last decade, the Fund’s strategy in Sierra Leone has aimed to strengthen Sierra Leone’s human rights movement by investing in promising organizations and building connections between groups across the country. We’re committed to supporting rural, grassroots organizations working to ensure that girls enjoy their right to education, as well as organizations pressing for the passing and implementation of national legislation to protect women’s rights. Likewise, our resources are enabling citizens to challenge government corruption, to fight impunity for crimes committed during the civil war, and to defend their land and resource rights in face of unfair mining practices.