Oct 31, 2008, 6:55 AM
collection of Gambian laws and court judgments regarding sexual and
gender-based violence (SGBV) was on Thursday reviewed and validated at a
workshop organised by the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa
The workshop, held at Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi, brought together participants including judicial officials, lawyers from state institutions and those in private practice, as well as civil society actors.
It was part of the activities the institute is undertaking to include legal resources from The Gambia on its online SGBV database, available at http://sgbv.ihrda.org/.
The online resource is a collection of laws and court judgments relevant to sexual and gender-based violence from various African countries, and it is intended to facilitate access to information for various actors and stakeholders in and out of Africa.
The initiative also seeks to promote the rights and welfare of women and girls in The Gambia.
Imene Nicole Zarifis, director of programmes at IHRDA, said the institute, which has been operating for more than 10 years, is a Pan-African human rights organisation that works primarily in areas of mitigation of human rights cases across the continent.
IHRDA’s three areas of concentration are defense, education and information (information sharing).
Ms Zarifis said they have cases against a number of different states which includes DR Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Malawi.
Most recently, IHRDA has identified two cases against the state of Mali both of which are in the area of women’s rights. The institute has also recently filed two cases against the state of Guinea on right to freedom of torture before the ECOWAS court.
Ms Zarifis said to date, the IHRDA has developed SGBV in 3 countries: Kenya, Uganda and DR Congo, and are working on expanding it to include other countries, after the conclusion of that of The Gambia, they planned on doing the same project for Mali.
Janet Sallah-Njie, IHRDA board chairperson, said the database will be a useful and valuable resource for not only Gambians but researchers all over the world.