The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) was established by an Act of Parliament in 2004 (Act No. 9 of 2004) to protect and promote human rights in Sierra Leone. Since its establishment, it has undertaken a number of activities to strengthen its capacity and promote and protect human rights.
The HRCSL became truly operational in 2007, although Commissioners took office in December, 2006. The five Commissioners were appointed through a transparent and participatory process that commenced in 2005 with a call for applications for the post of Commissioner. Short listed applicants were interviewed by a selection panel comprising six representatives of civil society interest groups and one representative of the government.
The Selection Panel submitted a list of seven candidates to the President who selected five nominees whose names were gazetted for public scrutiny and review. In October 2006 the five nominees were approved by Parliament, and thereafter took the Oath of Office before the President on 11th December 2006.
Since the appointment of Commissioners, significant progress has been made in operationalising the Commission. The Commissioners were walked through a two week comprehensive training facilitated by Commissioner Aliro Omara of the Uganda Human Rights Commission. This was followed by a three-week international study tour of the Ghanaian, Ugandan, and South African Human Rights Commissions. This was with the view to further build the capacity of the Commissioners to embark on their statutory responsibilities.