Law enforcement agencies trains on Anti-FGM laws

Monday, October 23, 2017

Child and Environment Development Association of The Gambia (CEDAG), with support from The Girl Generation (TGG) recently organised a two-day training for Law Enforcement Agencies on Anti-FGM Law.

Held in Farafenni in the North Bank Region, the training was part of series of activities lined up to create more awareness through Social Change Communication on ending FGM in society.

Morris I.O. Anyim, National Coordinator of CEDAG, said building the capacity of law enforcement officers on Anti-FGM law would contribute greatly in ending FGM in the society.

He said Law Enforcement Officers play a very crucial role, hence capacity enhancement and awareness creation would obviously widen their scope of understanding and advocacy for social change communication of ending FGM.

However, he said, despite the law, some families and individuals are in the habit of taking law into their hands to subject girls to inhuman treatment.

Jewru Krubally, Senior Mediator at the Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (ADRS), said sensitisation and training are fundamental in strengthening human resources development and bringing about behavioural change and respect for national laws/acts.

He noted that the 2016 amended women’s Act strongly condemned/barred FGM and therefore, as law enforcement officers, they should endeavour to reach out to communities to disseminate the content of anti-FGM law.

Mr Krubally noted that the declaration on the ban of FGM in 2015 by the former President has opened a gateway for The Gambia to join other countries to end the practice.

The political commitment has also been demonstrated to protect women and girls from all forms of gender-based violence including FGM.

He pointed out that media play a significant role in creating and engaging relevant institutions including government on the negative health implication on women and girls.

The ADRS officer commended the Civil Society Organizations including CEDAG for their relentless efforts in creating more public awareness on FGM.

Kebba Fadera, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), and Officer in Charge of prosecutions and Legal Affairs Unit at the Kairaba Police Division in the Kanifing Municipality, praised government for the enactment of protocols and conventions to protect from all forms of violence.

The gathering would also avail police officers the opportunity to preserve exhibits and how to arraign suspects before the court of law after the end of investigations, he added.

He noted that the training would prepare police officers on how to handle FGM cases and to know where to find the laws dealing with FGM, as well as know what investigative steps are to be taken with regards to FGM cases.

Musa Dibba, Deputy Immigration Commissioner for Farafenni delivered the vote of thanks and assured men and officers’ commitment in working with stakeholders to strengthen the enforcement of anti-FGM Law.

He commended Child and Environment Development Association The Gambia for targeting law enforcement officers, as the training has equipped them with knowledge, skills and strategy in promoting social change communication in ending FGM. 

Author: Abdoulie Nyockeh