CPA holds seminar on corporal punishment

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Child Protection Alliance (CPA), in partnership with Save the Children International on Saturday, held a consultative meeting with children and child-led groups on law review relating to the prohibition of Physical and Humiliating Punishment of Children (PHP) also known as Corporal Punishment.

The seminar, which took place at the CIAM hall in Kanifing funded by Save the Children International, was aimed at informing participants on the various forms and effects of child punishments and a review of the legal instruments both at national and international level geared towards its prohibition.

Speaking at the seminar, the youth coordinator of Child Protection Alliance, Lamin .K. Saidy, said the seminar was a demonstration of the Gambia’s stance to also join the rest of the world in adding their voice towards the prohibition of Physical and Humiliating Punishment of Children (PHP).

‘’We also join the rest of the world in adding our voice as an institution on the issue of corporal punishment,” he said, noting that the discussion would also be used to have a review of the laws related to PHP.

They also intend to have a review on the laws related to PHP and see how best they could task the state to ensure there are measures that would prohibit such practices, he said.

Mr Saidy noted that there are various forms of violence and punishments against children across different settings which have adverse effects that need to be outlawed.

He said The Gambia was one country that has not legally prohibited physical and humiliating punishment in any of the settings, hence the need for the gathering to see how best they could map out a way forward.

Lamin Fatty, Program Officer at Child Protection Alliance, said The Gambia as a signatory to the United Nations on the Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and other legal instruments has a mandate to ensure that they create an environment totally free from any form of violence, abuse or corporal punishments against children.

‘’The one day consultative meeting aims to bring young people to reflect on the need for the prohibition of corporal punishment, review and compare our laws with other legal instruments to protect the welfare of children in the country,’’ Mr Fatty said.

Mariama Touray and Dawda D. Sylva, youth activists and participants, said the seminar would enable them to draw an action plan to make sure that Physical and Humiliating Punishment of Children (PHP) also known as Corporal Punishment is banned in The Gambia.

Junkung Jobarteh, a seasoned lawyer and former chairperson of the Children’s Court, was the guest speaker, who took them through on the laws related to corporal punishment.

The Child Protection Alliance (CPA), formed on 26 April 2001, is the first inter-agency institution in The Gambia whose focus is solely on child rights promotion and protection.

Author: Mahamadou Camara
Source: Picture: Lamin K. Saidy, youth coordinator of Child Protection Alliance delivering speech in front of the participants