National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in collaboration with the African Union
Department of Political Affairs, the International Institute for Democracy and
the Electoral Assistance and the Network of African National Human Rights
Institutions, on Tuesday commenced a three-day leadership orientation for NHRC
commissioners and staff.
The training is aimed at building the skills and capacity of commissioners and staff on strategic planning and prioritisation skills.
It is also aimed to ensure that the diverse group of experts and practitioners that make up the Commission; its secretariat have the same level of understanding of their roles and require priorities.
Representing the attorney general and minister of Justice, Hussein Thomasi, said in The Gambia, they have in cooperated all the Paris principles which include the establishment of the NHRC in The Gambia.
“It is now widely recognised that strong independent and effective National Human Rights Commissions are a solid pillar for the rule of law, respect for fundamental human rights and democracy,” he added.
NHRC holds government responsible to the people they govern and as well improve the human rights situation in every given country he said, he added that human rights commissions all over the continent are rising to the challenge of championing human rights in respective territories.
“And we in The Gambia are firmly of the view that the commission has the potential to bring about change in the human rights landscape in this country,” he stated.
Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Emmanuel Daniel Joof, chairperson of NHRC, underscored the activities NHRC has embarked on since its inception, which include developing their activity plan to serve as their work plan for 2019.
“We are also developing our own SOP to govern the smooth running and operations of the commission and as well coming out with our motto, a logo, mission and vision statements and our core values,” he added.
The chairperson further disclosed that they have developed a hand book for commissioners and recruited staff of the secretariat amongst others.
He disclosed that NHRC is currently investigating the death of Ousman Darboe who was allegedly tortured by personnel of the Anti Crime Unit of The Gambia police force, which sparked off riots in the Greater Banjul area on the 24th July.
Ikubaje John G., senior political officer, African Union Commission (AUC), said that partners that are collaborating with NHRC to think through and to put together the programme of this three-day retreat needs to be commended.
“This Human Rights Leadership Orientation retreat is one series of the AUC and I-DEA’s capacity building programme for National Human Rights Commission in AU member states,” he said.