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Training on UN Human Rights treaty bodies underway

May 18, 2011, 3:15 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

A three-day training on the Gambia periodic drafting of reports to various UN Human Rights treaty monitoring bodies commenced on 17 May 2011 at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Senegambia.

Organised by the Attorney General Chambers and Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with the High Commission for Human Rights (HCHR), training was geared towards setting up a taskforce with the aim of strengthening the capacity of The Gambia to enable it to meet its obligation of timely reporting to UN treaty bodies.

Paul d’ Auchamp, Deputy Regional Representative for West Africa, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said The Gambia is facing certain difficulties regarding the unscheduled submission of reports to the treaty bodies saying the training will contribute to the government’s efforts in tackling the challenge and enabling The Gambia to fully comply with its international reporting obligation.

“HCHR stands ready to accompany the Government of The Gambia in these efforts,” he said, further reiterating their continued offer to provide technical advice to the government with regard to the creation of an entity equipped with the mandate and capacities required to champion the efforts of The Gambia in “this matter and also commit to assist” them with commencing the actual drafting process.

Mr Auchamp emphasized that the training would also address pertinent issues such as the expanded core document, as well as the International Convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women in The Gambia.

For his part, Pa Harry Jammeh, Solicitor General and Legal Secretary, revealed that The Gambia is a signatory to most of the international human rights treaties.

However, he indicated that The Gambia has, as with numerous other countries, faced some challenges with regard to the drafting and submission of reports to the treaty bodies.

The delay was not an expression of willingness but the need for the government to be better prepared technically and organizationally to undertake the important process, Solicitor Jammeh said.

The treaty body reporting system is an essential tool for governments not only in Africa, but everywhere, the solicitor general said.