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Sierra Leone

Established in 1998


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Defence for Children - Sierra Leone (DCI-SL) was founded in 1998 during the peak of Sierra Leonean civil war, a time when the rights of many child citizens were gravely violated. It was initially established to monitor and document violations of children’s rights and to provide legal assistance to child victims of violence and children in conflict with the law, including children who were detained and accused of being rebels.
Though DCI-SL is a local and independent chapter, it develops its programs based on the core principles and values of the Defence for Children international movement. DCI-SL envisions that children’s voices are heard and that their rights are protected in both law and practice at national and community levels.

DCI-SL has its head office in Freetown, and branch offices in five different districts with forty-five staff, spread over the four regions of Sierra Leone.

The main goal of DCI-SL’s work is to provide legal assistance, psychosocial and socio-economic empowerment for child victims of abuse/violence, children in conflict with the law and children in very vulnerable situations. 

DCI Sierra Leone Team


DCI Sierra Leone published their Annual Report for 2012. We invite you to view it by clicking here.



Defence for Children Sierra Leone operates in Sierra Leone, for and with children, carrying out initiatives for the protection and promotion of rights, in the following areas:

  • Child Justice - promoting protection and justice for children in conflict with the law.
  • Child victims of abuse/violence and witnesses and addressing Gender-Based Violence
  • Child Exploitation - particularly focusing on child trafficking and child labour
  • Promoting Civil Rights of Children - birth registration programs, child participation in programs and the expression of children’s views


DCI Sierra Leone Key Strategies to implement projects:

  • Advocacy/lobbying - We carry out evidence-based advocacy at the community and national level. DCI-SL conducts research and continuously documents the child rights cases it deals with throughout the year. Findings of research and documented cases are used to support advocacy activities.
  • Institutional strengthening - As an advocacy organisation, we believe that the best protectors of and service providers for children are public institutions and community organizations who have been charged with the responsibility of child protection. DCI-SL provides these bodies with the necessary technical capacity and other resources crucial to their functioning.
  • Social and legal assistance to children - Children in contact with the law, whether as alleged offenders, victims or witnesses are given psychosocial and legal assistance to help them achieve justice, rehabilitation and reintegration.
  • Socio-economic empowerment – Children, young people and their families are given economic support so that they may become self-reliant and able to defend themselves against the injustice and social marginalisation linked to poverty.
  • Child participation - In as much as DCI-SL works mainly with children in conflict with the law and victims of abuse, the organisation also believes that children can also be actors within their own right and that their views should be present in decision making at all levels. DCI-SL mobilises and empowers children so that their voices may be heard by parents, community leaders and government authorities.

Key achievements

  • Advocating and monitoring child rights policies and legislative instrument

DCI-SL has led civil society campaigns and given technical inputs for the development and passage of many child rights policies and legislative instruments, including: the Child Rights Act 2007, the National Child Justice Strategy, the National Age Verification Guidelines, the Child Abuse Referral Protocol, the National Child Reintegration Policy, to name but a few.

  • Securing Juvenile Justice with legal advocacy

Through legal advocacy since 2003, DCI-SL has been able to secure justice for over 3,000 child victims of abuse/violence and also removed over 10,000 children from police cells, prisons and other detention facilities, and succeeded in reintegrating over 60% of them into their families and communities. In this regard, one of DCI-SL’s lawyers won the 2004 Reebok International Human Rights Award for the successful legal representation of children in conflict with the law and child victims of abuse in Sierra Leone.

  • Participation in the UNCRC Alternative Reports

DCI-SL has led civil society organizations to submit three UNCRC Alternative Reports to the Government of Sierra Leone and to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva.



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DCI-SL is the chair and coordinator of the Child Rights Coalition - Sierra Leone (CRC-SL); the most influential child rights network with a mandate to monitor and advocate for the government’s implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and its Optional Protocols.



Contact person: Mr. KEMOKAI Abdul Manaff


42, Siaka Stevens Street
Freetown, P.O. Box 1078

Phone 1 : (232) +33 594 365

Phone 2 : (232) +76 624 060
e-Mail : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Updated on July 2012