Parliament and Religious leaders join the ECM campaign

Friday 5 March 2021

Hon. Catherine Tarawalie giving commitments on behalf of Parliamentarians to young champions after a fruitful discussion at the Parliament Building on Ending Child Marriage in Sierra Leone, 25 February 2021. Photo by Abdul Sillah, Save the Children.

On Tuesday 23rd and Thursday 25th February 2021, five young champions from across Freetown, held high level meetings with the eight (8) Executive members of the Inter Religious Council of Sierra Leone and eighteen (18) Parliamentary Members of the Gender and Children’s Affairs Committee in a bid to add their voices to the “End Child Marriage campaign” in Sierra Leone.

Discussions focused on findings from a report launched in January this year;
Ending child marriage in West Africa: Enhancing policy implementation and budgeting, Sierra Leone and Niger. Along with evidence on the situation for girls and how this negatively impacts on national development. The champions illustrated the disparity in fund allocations to protection and the worrying downward trend of government financing to end child marriage.

Champions called on both Religious leaders and Parliamentarians to play their part as influencers and decision makers, with a plea for both parties to join them in this campaign.

Back - Young Champions Save the Children, Front (L-R) - Hon. Ruggiatu Kanu, Hon. Catherine Tarawalli Deputy and Chair for the Gender and Children's Affairs Parliamentary Committee and Ramatu Jalloh SCI Advocacy and Communication Director, 25 February 2021. Photo by Abdul Sillah, Save the Children  

Commitment from Parliamentarians
Hon. Catherine Tarawally, Chairperson for Gender and Children’s Affairs Parliamentary Committee, promised that they will work towards reviewing the laws.
We have already achieved one, which is the Sexual Offences Act. We are midway in achieving another which is the review and repeal of the Child Rights Act 2007. By the end of March, we will table the CRA in Parliament.”

Young Champions with a cross section of the Executive of the Inter-Religious Council Sierra Leone after the meeting in Freetown, 23 February 2021. Photo by Abdul Sillah, Save the Children

Commitment from Religious Leaders
Inter Religious Council Sierra Leone Executives (IRCSL) committed to working with young champions on ending child marriage. “The bottom line is, we recognize there is a problem and we have a lot to do together.” Responded Alhadji Murtada Sesay, Vice president of IRCSL

More to come on the ending child marriage campaign