During the outbreak of Ebola in 2015, many people were affected and died. Most young people especially teenage girls in Sierra Leone were affected since some lost their parents and had to take care of themselves. Due to this unfortunate situation, most young girls became pregnant since they were being forced to have sex with men in exchange for food and protection.
Most of these pregnant girls were stigmatized, punished and humiliated whenever they attended school. Meanwhile these young teenage girls had dreams of becoming resourceful leaders in future. The situation of girls getting pregnant became alarming and rising to 65% in some parts of sierra Leone.
This caused many organizations like Amnesty International, Children Welfare Society Sierra Leone, Women Against Violence and Exploitation in Society and many more to come to the aid of these pregnant girls in order to save their future.
In May 2018, the case was submitted to the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja where Amnesty International provided evidence on human rights violations recorded.
In December 2019, the court found sierra Leone’s ban on pregnant girls going to school discriminatory and must be revoked to allow these girls go back to school.
According to the court, the ban was not inline with Sierra Leone’s regional and international law, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Children.
The court has also ordered Sierra Leone to develop campaigns and strategies to address the negative attitude towards pregnant girls attending school and hence sexual education and family planning methods be taught in schools.