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Gambia Is Among Least Child-friendly Governments

Sep 14, 2009, 6:14 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

The government of The Gambia has been found to be one of the least child-friendly governments in Africa, ranking 49th in the child-friendly index, out of the 52 African governments, the African Report on Child Well-being stated.

The report, developed by the African Child Policy Forum, provides an insight into the well-being of children in Africa and assesses the extent to which governments meet their obligations, through a ground-breaking child-friendliness index.

A number of indicators have been used to assess government's performance in protecting children against abuse and exploitation.

According to the report, the government was ranked among the least child-friendly countries, because of the fact that it did not put in place appropriate legal provisions to protect children against abuse and exploitation. This, the report outlines, is because of its lower commitment in allocating adequate share of the national budget towards providing the basic needs of the children.

"The government of The Gambia has not performed well in putting in place appropriate legal and policy framework to protect children against abuse," the report stated. The ranking, the report went, puts The Gambia 50th in respect of legal protection of children, indicating its very low performance in this regard.

"The government of The Gambia has not performed well in areas relating to corporal punishment, juvenile justice system and in establishing a government body for coordinating the national strategy for children," the report stated, noting that it however has policy for free primary education and national plan of action for survival, protection and development of children.