Oct 10, 2008, 4:01 AM
The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices affecting the Health of Women and Children (Gamcotrap) yesterday concluded a day-long training workshop for 55 security officers on Management and Prevention of Gender Based Violence and Harmful Traditional Practices at the KMC Multi-purpose Hall in Kanifing.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr. Isatou Touray, Executive Director of Gamcotrap, said over the years, Gamcotrap had partnered with various Armed and Security forces to address gender based violence.
Dr Touray said that the training was made possible through the different projects they have being implementing since 2008.
She stated that:“Currently Gamcotrap in partnership with Save the Children Sweden and UN Women Trust Fund is implementing a three-year project in the Kombos, West Coast Region and it is in this context that today we are witnessing the training of 55 Security Officers, the ninth batch of security officers to undergo a similar process.”
According to the rights activist, the officers are identified through their various units and that priority is given to Station Officers from the Kombos, Child Welfare Officers and Prosecutors.
Dr Touray also said that the main objectives of the training are to build the capacities of the participants to respond to gender based violence and child rights issues.
“It also aims to increase awareness on harmful traditional practices and gender based violence amongst 55 Security Officers from the police, immigration, and army,” Dr Touray said.
She stated further that, it is expected that at the end of the training, security officers would have a better knowledge of keeping records of cases of child rights abuses reported to their stations.
She added that, it is also expected that at the end of the training, participants would have a better understanding on the Children’s Act 2005 and the Women’s Act 2010.
“All these will contribute to the wider goal of Gamcotrap and supporting the government’s commitment to the empowerment of women and the girl-child,” remarked Dr. Touray.
The activist said that their goal is to reach out through advocacy to a wide and culturally diverse audience of all age groups for all to realize the belief that all individuals have the right and responsibility to promote and protect their human rights.
“We also hope that through your engagement you would promote and protect the human rights of women and children particularly the girl-child; and play your role in the elimination of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the Gambia,” she said.
Dr Touray expressed their appreciation to the different Units of the Armed and Security Services for their long standing partnership with her office aimed at promoting and protecting the rights of children and women.