YPM urges parents to ensure safety of children during independence & Presidential Inauguration

Friday, February 17, 2017

Young People in the Media (YPM) and stakeholders in child protection call on all parents, guardians, security forces and authorities in custody of children to ensure that all children are fully protected and their safety is guaranteed during the Gambia’s 52nd Independence celebration and Presidential inauguration of His Excellency President Adama Barrow, slated for Saturday 18th February 2017.

As a child led advocacy organization, we realize with great concern during such celebration the anxiety that accompanies children, must therefore be understood by all sectors of society.

Children, being one of the most vulnerable segments of the civilian population, are at times negatively affected in various ways such as missing, injured or at times abuse by a potential abuser.

The protection of all unaccompanied children must be prioritized during this festive season, noted Abdou Jatta, Executive Coordinator of YPM and Member of the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth UN MGCY.

We thank all partners for their support in ensuring that the rights and needs of all children are met and protected during the political impasses in the country; which has such a profound impact on children’s situations, including in the peacebuilding phase.

Mass exposure of children and youth, lack of education, and poor nutrition, but with the support of all partners including the international community to protect children’s individual rights in emergency has progressively been developed, thus this is manifested in an increased involvement of the international community on this issue, with the objective of preserving the future human capital of a country precious asset and treasure its children.

As stakeholders in child protection , we wish to express our sincere gratitude to all partners, such as UN agencies, the Coalition Taskforce , Red Cross, Immigration department, Department of Social Welfare , Police Child Welfare Units, The Gambia Armed Forces, Embassies, and all  child protection partners for the support , technical assistance  and services  rendered  across  border posts within the country and outside  to ensure the maintenance and up keep of children; ensuring the return of those children and parents that fled the country during the political impasses in the country.  We finally call upon the Gambia Red Cross Society and partners in children protection to redouble efforts in terms of increasing number of volunteers’ presence in providing enough drinking water and good nutritional food for all children during the independence celebration.

Every society hopes and expects that its children will grow up to be capable and responsible citizens who will contribute immensely to the development of their societies. This can only be attained if children are brought up in an environment where they are loved, cared, cherished and are free from poverty, conflict and violence.

We wish to use this opportunity once again to congratulate  His Excellency Adama Barrow - President of the Republic of Gambia and its citizenry of our continued assurance to work with government and all stakeholders in child protection on our continue advocacy on the issues and the laws in place on  the promotion and protection of the child rights and equity agenda of all children and young people in our drive towards advancing the work being done for the children and young people of  our beloved country.