#Article (Archive)

Fighting pedophiles in Gambia

May 9, 2012, 3:34 PM

We strongly agree with the minister of Tourism and Culture, who yesterday said that the country should never be a safe haven for pedophiles.

This country known as the ‘Smiling Coast of the Africa’ should not be taken for granted by any individual or group engaging in the abuse of our children.

Child sex tourism and prostitution should be discouraged in our tourism industry, and the tourism development area.

We, therefore, urge relevant authorities to leave no stone unturned in addressing the problem, since its has severe consequences for the overall well-being of our children.

Our law enforcement agencies should ensure the effective implementation of the Gambia Tourism Board Act, the Children’s Act and all other laws geared towards protecting our children from all forms of abuse and exploitation.

Penalties for the perpetrators of this heinous crime committed against our future leaders should be strengthened to deter others, and eventually eradicated in the country.

We call on all to join the crusade, and recommit ourselves to fight against child exploitation and abuse.

There must be serious commitment to galvanized our efforts and resources in fighting this worrisome phenomenon.

To our parents, guardians, we want to say it is time for you to say, enough is enough!

As in most cases, parents or custodians of our children are to blame for the vices children encounter in the hands of their abusers,aiding the perpetrator of the crime or lodging him or her in the same compound with the victim.

It is a crime to aid or abet a criminal, more specially a criminal that will destroy the social fabric of our society.

Let us not, in any way, harbour criminals in our midst, as it is time for us to break the culture of silence.

To the Child Protection Alliance, we recommend that you increase awareness campaigns and advocacy efforts, since the future of our Smiling Coast entirely rests in the hands of our children, and if their rights are abused, and they are exploited then the future of The Gambia will be at stake.

We must stand firm, against anyone or group of people that intend to exploit our children for selfish interest, and make sure they pay a heavy price, regardless of who is involved.