Lawyers’ Association-Gambia (FLAG), last Friday trained social workers on
adopting victim center approach that would promote human rights and
transitional justice in The Gambia. The training also aimed to inform
communities and the public on human right abuses. It was designed to provide
skills, encourage participants and exchange information.
President of FLAG Haddy Dandeh Jabbi said the training provided social workers the mechanisms of transitional justice in promoting human rights through the adoption of victim center approach for victims of sexual abuse and gender based violence. “It would also conduct assessment of the reparation needs and interests of affected victims.”
Tabou Sarr from The Gambia truth-seeking commission; TRRC said women constitutes a major portion of the reported civilian victims of present day human right violations, saying studies show that women comprise almost 80% of vulnerable victims of human right abuses. “Sexual violence against women are used as weapon for human rights violence and are targeted specifically to inflict pain on opponents.”
Mrs. Sarr pointed out some right violations and their impacts such as right to basic services of health, hygiene and sanitary, right to access to justice, right to freedom of expression and denial of access and enjoyment of basic needs for survival and low esteem.
Awa Joof from UNDP said the objective of transitional justice is to investigate past human right violations and abuses to know the truth and root causes and to identify perpetrators initiating criminal prosecutions against those bearing the greatest responsibility.
She said historically the experience of women and victims of gender based violence have not been adequately addressed by transitional justice processes, nor have the women had sufficient representation or opportunities for participation within accountable, acknowledged and reform measures. “These shortcomings include underreporting of certain violations and policies that make women participation in transitional justice processes or access benefits difficult.”
Mrs. Joof further stated some gender processes in transitional justice, including protecting victims, accountability, access to full participation, safety and response and mitigation of risks in situations when survivors or victims are in potential harmful situations.