leading Gambian human rights organization Beakanyang Kafo Monday joined the
rest of the world to celebrate the 2018 International Human Rights Day.
The date was meant to honour the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation on 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which turns 70 years.
Beakanyang has being celebrating these day in The Gambia since 2011 and this year’s celebration was marked with activities in five different schools in the country. The national celebration of the organization was held at Charles Jaw Memorial Academy in Bundung.
Nfamara Jawneh, executive director of Beakanyang said the government being the primary duty bearer must ensure that human rights are fully respected in the country.
The human rights hero said under the 1997 Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the country has an obligation to protect human rights of all in the country irrespective of their status.
“We would like to use this opportunity to call on the government to promptly and thoroughly investigate alleged human rights abuses by the Anti-Crime Unit of The Gambia Police Force to clear all doubts.”
According to him, Gambians have suffered a lot during the past autocratic rule and therefore shall never again experience human rights violations.
He however applauded the government saying that despite their concerns the country’s human rights record has significantly improved since the advent of the new government.
“The National Assembly enacted a bill in 2017 for the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission but yet it’s not operational and we hope this process will be expedited so that citizens could go and file human rights complaints,” he noted.
Mr. Jawneh, also Youth for Human Rights International country coordinator thanked the US Embassy and Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education for partnering with his organization to promote human rights education in schools.
Sukai Sagnia, principal of Charles Jaw Memorial Academy thanked Beakanyang for choosing her school to host the celebration.
She disclosed that the impact of the human rights clubs created in schools by Beakanyang have significantly helped in addressing issues such as buddying and discrimination in schools.
Meanwhile, the international theme for this year is: stand up for human rights while the local theme chosen by Beakanyang is UDHR@70: Zero Tolerance to Human Rights Abuses in Gambia.
The celebration was punctuated by recitation of poems and drama performance on human rights by members of the human rights club of the host school.
Buba Njie of Beakanyang chaired the ceremony and urged students to defend their rights at all times.