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At a glance

Despite the progress made in achieving accountability for war crimes committed during the armed conflict and the fight against corruption by high-level public officials, Sierra Leone has serious deficiencies in complying with international human rights standards. Police violence is a growing concern and there are allegations of excessive use of force, including lethal, by police and security forces, especially when apprehending suspects and quelling demonstrations. Violence against women remains a major concern, with high prevalence of gender-based violence, including rape of girls by close relatives and teachers and the pressure the victims are facing to resort to out-of-court settlements. Investigations and prosecutions around these cases are not commensurate with the seriousness of the situation. The practice of female genital mutilation remains an alarming issue that clearly violates the physical integrity and the human dignity of girls. Other harmful traditional practices are still rampant, such as child marriage subject to parent consent, or lynching inflicted on elderly women in relation to allegations of witchcraft.

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