Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) has recently
provided a three-day human rights training for thirty-five members of The
Gambia Prison Services drawn from various prisons in the country. The Canadian
Embassy in Dakar, Senegal through the Canadian Fund supported the project for
Addressing the participants at the training, Prison Services Director-General Ansuman Manneh opined that the training was timely as it came at a time when government is embarking on security sector reforms to instill public confidence in the sector.
He said human rights training for prison officers will undoubtedly enable them to render better services to the society and the country.
IHRDA’s executive director Gaye Sowe said very few prison officers benefited from the initial phase of the human rights capacity-building programme for Gambia public security agencies that ran from October 2015 to March 2016. He noted that the demand for this training was triggered by the outcome of the 2015-2016 phase of the programme.
He underscored the importance of prison conditions in assessing the human rights situation of a country, and called on the officers to take the training seriously.
The training engagements covered important issues related to the services of prison officers as provided for by Gambia and international laws, notably Gambia’s regional and international human rights obligations; prohibition of torture; rights of detainees/prisoners; the right to personal liberty; dealing with women, children and non-nationals.
In addition to the training, IHRDA is equipping the prison services with a human rights manual.