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NAMs trained on child rights, child-friendly budgeting

Oct 22, 2012, 12:26 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

Members of the National Assembly on Friday began two-day training session on child rights, child protection and child-friendly budgeting at the Laico Atlantic Hotel in Banjul.

The training was organized by the Child Protection Alliance, CPA, in collaboration with Pro PAG.

Delivering the opening remarks, deputy Speaker Fatou Mbye said that children’s rights and well-being are intrinsically linked with public budgets, because without the budget, the health, education, social welfare, security of the people would not be guaranteed.

As such, she added, it is the single most important instrument at the disposal of government for investing in its people.

“We are all responsible to ensure children have a good start in life, a good start that would ensure that they live a dignified life, survive and grow up to become responsible adults and citizens,” said the deputy Speaker.

“This is what we want for our children, and this is what we must all strive to achieves”, she continued, adding that a government’s budget reveals how much money it intends to raise and how much of that money will be spent across the different sectors.

“In The Gambia, our budget is centered on key priority areas as per the government’s development plans as envisaged in Vision 2020 and PAGE. This training will, therefore, enhance the knowledge of NAMs on budget analysis to ensure it is in line with the government priorities, and to also reflect the needs of the children. We all know that children are our assurance for a better future.

“This training is important and timely for several reasons, Firstly, the current National Assembly is barely less than one year in office, and quite a number of NAMs are new; therefore the training for Hon. NAMs to better understand children’s rights and other related issues is indeed important; and, secondly, NAMs approach the 2012 budget session when they shall be reviewing government’s expected income and expenditure for 2013,” she pointed out.

Nfamara Darboe, chairperson of CPA, thanked NAMs for being part of the two-day training session which, he said, was very important for them as lawmakers.

“We have seen the commitment from you (NAMs) in ratifying many instruments that support the development of children in The Gambia notably, United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children (UNCRC), the African Charter, the Tourism Offenses Act 2003, the Trafficking in Persons Act 2007, and just recently the Women’s Act 2010.

“For me and for CPA, in particular, these are manifestations of the continued commitment of you (the NAMs) in the protection and promotion of the welfare of children in the country,” he said.

Fanta Bai Secka, director of the Department of Social Welfare also reaffirmed her offices commitment to protecting the rights of children.

Ndye Basin Jobe president of Voice for the Young delivered the vote of thanks. Bakary Badjie of CPA chaired the ceremony.