Gambia Teachers’ Union (GTU) in partnership with Child Protection Alliance
(CPA) on Friday organised a symposium in commemoration of the Day of the
event, on the theme ‘Creating a protective and peaceful society together with
children’, was funded by ActionAid International The Gambia and held at the
Regional Education Directorate for Region 1.
on the occasion, Omar Badjie, executive director of ActionAid The Gambia, said
the commemoration is significant for it served as a platform to honour those
who participated in the Soweto Uprising where over 100 students were killed,
day also allows for an internal reflection on the plight of children in Africa
and the national commitments, he said.
like The Gambia that are signatories to major international legal instruments
like CRC, ACRWC and CEDAW have taken the commitment to provide an enabling
environment where all children grow to their full potentials.
Badjie pointed out that though the state is the primary duty bearer and
protector of children, it is the collective responsibilities of all
stakeholders to effectively participate in ensuring that the right environment
is provided for the children.
has a vision of a world without poverty and injustice in which every person
enjoys their right to a life of dignity.
Its mission is to work with the poor and excluded people to eradicate
poverty and injustice.
said the vision and mission of the organisation requires it to take a human
rights-based approach to development (HRBA) with emphasis on building
partnerships with key development players in programme formulation and
HRBA programme focuses on empowering people and their organisations to advocate
for their rights to be met by various duty bearers.
in Africa, The Gambia included are among the poorest, most excluded and
vulnerable people,” Mr Badjie said.
ideas and contributions to decision making, be it at the family, community or
national level, are not considered important and useful enough to be included
in plans. As a result, children’s
priorities and needs are consistently left out of the development process thus
making them even more vulnerable and prone to abuse.”
boss called on all parents, teachers and other primary duty bearers to pay
special attention to the needs and aspirations of children. They (children) should be encouraged to be
forthcoming in expressing themselves to contribute in their own little way to
the development processes at different levels.
the same vein, he continued, government, CSOs, CBOs and other institutions are
expected to provide needed support to parents and teachers for them to
adequately fulfil their duties and obligation to the children.
pointed out that The Gambia government should be commended for ratifying and
enacting legal frameworks that protect children.
noted that the enactment of the Children’s Act 2005, the Tourism Offensive Act,
the Criminal Code, the Trafficking in Person’s Act 2007, and the Women’s Act
2010, all avail the opportunity for litigation to any perpetrators.
further continued: “However, we as a key duty bearer must ensure we play our
part in enforcement of these frameworks.
As a country, we have very good laws that can ensure protection and
peaceful environment for children.
existence of legal frameworks provides opportunities that give children the
best possible start in life. They can
also be used for our individual national and international advocacy and setting
a country, we are aware of the constraints and challenges in child protection
among which includes abuse and exploitation of children especially on sex
tourism, trafficking in person, early and forced marriage, corporal punishment
challenges and constraints can be tarnishing but we stand together in ensuring
that we overcome them for the future of this country.
we allow our children to grow up in this kind of environment, we will have
generations of undesirable adults who will not be capable of taking the
development process of this county forward.
is therefore, incumbent on everyone in position of trust and responsibility,
not to accept or condone any form of abuse of innocent children. Respecting, promoting,
protecting and fulfilling the rights of children imply protecting our future
leaders needed for socio-economic and political development of our country.”
Cole, Region 1 Director, said children themselves have a stake in the whole
business of creating a protective and peaceful society for all to live in – old
said: “Children must understand that they are not bystanders or passengers in
creating peaceful societies, but are vital partakers and partners in the whole
in their present situation, children need to know that they have roles and
responsibilities to undertake and perform in safeguarding protective and
peaceful societies for all.”
time children only think about claiming their rights with all sorts of demands
and misdemeanours, forgetting that they have responsibilities as well to be
deserving of those rights.”
Drammeh, national coordinator of Child Protection Alliance, said it is
important for everyone to ensure that the rights of children are respected,
protected and fulfilled for “that is the only way we can have a peaceful
society where rights are violated with impunity cannot be called a peaceful
society,” he said.
learn what they see in homes, schools and environment and if there is violent
in these places they will learn it and become violent people.”