Abdul Manaff Kemokai receives the Child 10 Award 2016


December 9, 2016

The Fund for Global Human Rights congratulates Abdul Manaff Kemokai, Executive Director of Defence for Children International Sierra Leone (DCI-SL), on his receipt of the Child 10 Award 2016 on November 14th, 2016. The Child 10 Summit brings together remarkable leaders of grassroots organizations so they can share knowledge and solutions to protect the rights of the child across the world. Child 10 gives them a chance to meet and learn from each other and supports the continuation of their work by providing a $10,000 grant.

Abdul was recognized for his remarkable achievements in protecting children in Sierra Leone. Since 2001, DCI-SL has tirelessly defended the rights of children by monitoring and documenting violations of children’s rights. DCI-SL provides legal assistance to children who are victims of violence and abuse, trains law enforcement and service providers on protocols to protect children’s rights, advocates for better laws and safety nets in the justice system, and works with other nonprofit organizations to prevent and reduce child trafficking across borders.

Abdul and his staff continued this critical work during the Ebola crisis; when the child protection system in Sierra Leone deteriorated, children were left to fend for themselves for the most basic needs of food, shelter, and medical attention, leaving them at an increased risk of exploitation, trafficking, and violence.

Cognizant of the dire situation for children not only in Sierra Leone but also the entire region, DCI-SL planned and executed a successful meeting of child protection organizations from Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Grantees of the Fund came together and developed a coordinated response to the children’s rights emergency in their countries. Together, they were able to identify gaps that needed to be addressed directly or advocated for at a governmental level to protect children in each country. Thanks to DCI-SL, the organizations developed a coordinated service plan to address child trafficking in the region. Organizations from all three countries actively trained border security officials, community leaders, and service providers on how they can help prevent and stop child trafficking.

UPDATE: A month after this writing, Abdul and the staff at DCI-SL completed a third child trafficking convening and have developed new tools to help stop child trafficking in West Africa. While there is still much more work to be done, Abdul has laid the groundwork for a cohesive civil society creating a world where children can have a future free from exploitation.