Sierra Leone faces numerous socio-economic development challenges. The economy is still dominated by the exploitation of agricultural resources and mining. Growth driven by these sectors remains inadequate to reverse the negative trends in terms of poverty, which still affects more than 66 per cent of the population. In fact, 47 per cent and 79 per cent of the urban and rural populations, respectively, are poor while 21 per cent of the national population live in extreme poverty, that is, households having a consumption level below
what is needed to meet basic food requirements.
In order to meet these challenges, the Government of Sierra Leone signed, ratified and adopted a number of international and regional standards and codes. However, the majority of the population and of the relevant bodies (public institutions, political parties, NGOs, economic partners) are not fully aware of these agreements. In addition, socio-cultural and religious factors constitute a major hindrance to the domestication and implementation of some of the international instruments, such as the Conventions on the Rights of Women and Children.