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Chiefs, village heads sensitised on child rights and protection

Sep 15, 2015, 11:23 AM | Article By: Fatou Jallow

Child Protection Alliance (CPA) on Monday organised a daylong forum to sensitise district chiefs and Alkalolou (village heads) in the West Coast Region on the rights and protection of children.

Districts chiefs and Alkalolou were specifically targeted for they are custodians of culture and tradition at the village and district levels.The forum was held at the governor’s office in Brikama, West Coast Region.

Speaking on the occasion, the national coordinator of CPA, Njundu Drammeh, said one of the aims of the workshop is the clear the misconception about child rights.

“The term is many a times being misunderstood by many,” he said, adding that child rights simply means giving children proper upbringing so that they can grow up to be better citizens of the country.

While acknowledging the involvement of the chiefs and Alkalolou in making sure the rights of children are recognised and protected, Mr Drammeh urged the traditional authorities to demystify the concept to their people.

Speaking on behalf of the chiefs and Alkalolou, Paramount Chief Demba Sanyang said as custodians of culture, tradition and religion, they always strive to give everyone his/her rights, and children are not left out.

He noted giving children the proper upbringing would go a long way in the development of The Gambia.

Deputising for the Governor of West Coast Region was the deputy Governor Mamodou Nyassi, who said the participants of the workshop have a great role to play in ensuring that children grow up to be responsible, respected and purposeful leaders.

However, Mr Nyassi said ensuring greater respect, protection and fulfillment of the rights and protection of children requires action on the ground, by families and communities.

“So it is good that this workshop targeted our traditional, religious and community leaders,” he said.

“Despite all efforts made to protect children, they are still victims of abuse and exploitation which grossly violate their rights and compromise their ability to reach their maximum potential in life,” Mr Nyassi added.

He called on the chiefs and Alkalolou to serve as role models and ambassadors to their people, through promoting and protecting the rights of children.

The West Coast Region deputy governor said the Gambia government has been making tremendous efforts geared toward creating the ideal environment for children, but the collaboration of others is needed in that regards.