As part of their continued peacebuilding efforts, Beakanyang, together with Youth for Human Rights The Gambia, YHRG and Masroor Senior Secondary School Human Rights, hosted a one-day seminar on the role of Human Rights on Friday, December 17, 2021. youth in mitigating post-election violence in The Gambia.
The activity was part of the activities marking International Human Rights Day in the country.
The celebration began with a pass-march led by the Scout Band from the Coastal Road Market to the Old Yundum Schoolyard.
The event brought together seventy (70) participants from political parties, youth organizations and school-based human rights clubs.
In his welcome address, Mr. Yusupha Cham congratulated the various representatives of political parties, youth organizations and students for their participation in the event.
According to him, even though the presidential election of December 4, 2021 was described as free and fair by domestic and international observers, the aftermath of the election saw few incidents of post-election violence.
“In fact, we saw the police fire tear gas canisters to disperse UDP supporters, mostly young people, who gathered at the home of the UDP leader to protest the election result,” he said. he called back.
He noted that with these developments there is a need to involve young people more to mitigate the escalation of post-election violence.
“We thought it was important to bring together at least 50 young people from various political parties, youth organizations and school human rights clubs to engage in a frank dialogue on the way forward,” he said. .
“December 10 is generally celebrated as International Human Rights Day, but due to the country’s just concluded presidential election, we have had to postpone the commemoration until this week.”
In the meantime, according to Mr. Cham, for them, every day is a day of human rights, in the sense that the advocacy, awareness and teaching of fundamental rights continues.
Representing the executive director of the New York National Youth Council, Lamin Sanneh, New York Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, congratulated the organizers on what he called a very timely and important seminar.
He reaffirmed NYC’s continued support and commitment to work with young people across the country to build peaceful societies.
âYoung people have a big role to play as a mitigation tool against all kinds of electoral violence. They should not allow any political party to use them as a mere tool to incite violence. The Gambia is ours and will remain with us as long as we continue to live in peace, wish each other peace and see peace on each other’s faces, âsaid Mr Nfamara Jawneh, Executive Director of Beakanyang.
Ms. Matilda Mendy, Deputy Executive Secretary of The Gambia National Human Rights Commission, NHRC introduced participants to the history and mandate of the National Human Rights Commission and how citizens, in particular young people, could access its services.
âThe NHRC Act establishes a commission for the promotion and protection of human rights in The Gambia. The commission will be made up of five people (including at least two women). The Commission is authorized to investigate and examine complaints of human rights violations in The Gambia. , including violations committed by individuals and private entities, âshe said.
According to her, the NHRC can, among other things, receive and hear complaints from the public about human rights violations;
recommend appropriate corrective action to the government and seek appropriate corrective action on behalf of victims and reserves the right to investigate suspected cases of human rights violations and report to the government and all relevant institutions on such surveys, among others.