‘Child protection is a collective responsibility’

Friday, February 15, 2019

Jankoba Jabbi, Director of the Department of Social Welfare has expressed his department’s desire and aspiration to protect the welfare of Gambian children in all aspects. “Our department’s desire is to ensure that every Gambian child grow in a peaceful and healthy family,” Mr. Jabbi said.

Addressing participants at the launching of the “Together We Can Save Our Girls” programme at the Kanifing Municipal Council on Monday, Mr. Jabbi said child protection must be a collective responsibility.

He said protection of girls against violence can only be realised through the cooperation of all relevant professionals across government departments, civil society and the community, saying it is only through education, empowerment and protection of girls that “we” can change the mindset of the people to be positively involved in the agenda of gender equality and girls empowerment for sustainable development.

He further explained that children continue to be excluded from essential services such as health, education and the lack of family and community protection. “We provide psychosocial support and counseling to survivors of gender based violence. We also work closely with the Network Against Gender-based Violence, police child welfare officers, the ministry of justice child rights unit, other health personnel and FLAG, geared towards the protection of children,’’ he stated.

Ella R. Daigan, state counsel from the Ministry of Justice said child rights violations are rampant and there’s need to fight against the menace which, she said cannot be overemphasized.

Program officer Child Protection Alliance Lamin Fatty called for active participation of the civil society in complementing government efforts, by holding them accountable. “Young girls are being victimised on daily bases at a very high rate. There is need for renewed commitment and collaboration to ensure that violence against young girls is put to a stop,” Mr. Saidy said.

Founder of Together We Can Save Our Girls, Ousainatou Jallow, a Gambian-based in US said the idea of forming the organisation was encouraged by her hearing of a media report of a father who raped his 11-year-old daughter. “The saddest part of all is whenever such cases happens, people will blame the girl child.”

Ansumana Camara, chairperson of Together We Can Save Our Girls said the organisation will provide rehabilitation for girls who were molested and abused through capacity building and community sensitisation on child rights to ensure that every child is protected.

Author: Fatou B. Cham