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Human Rights Commissioners First Retreat In Two Years Of Existence

By Hatab Nyang

The retreat, which was held from the 16th to the 19th of December at the West Coast Village of Kanilai, brought together the Commissioners and staff of the Commission for the first time in their two years of existence.

The event was designed to give an opportunity for self assessment, and scrutiny on the journey so far, which is the creation of a culture of human rights in the Gambia. 

The highlights of the the symbolic synergy according to the commission, includes the unison, frank discussions and focus that everyone brought to the table during the four days spent. A thorough assessment was done on the success stories, the challenges encountered and a roadmap was developed to achieve milestones in the 2021 calendar year.

The newly adopted five year strategic plan of the Commission was thoroughly discuss amongst staff to help them better understand the content, in order to serve as a reference point and guide in the implementation plans of programs and projects. 

During the series of refresher presentations by selected staff members, the 2017 Act that establishes the Commission and it’s 2020 amendments were discussed as well as the State of Human Rights in the Gambia and  proper records management.

It could be recalled that the National Human Rights Commission was established in 2017 and came into being in January 2018 with a broad mandate to promote and protect human rights in the Gambia. It’s establishment is inline with the paris principles and it is key determinant of the democratic character of states.

Since it’s establishment, the commission have embarked on series of monitoring visits including to prisons and Police Stations for an assessment on the condition upon which detainees and prisoners are held and issued advisory notes to Government demanding that International minimum standards are respected.

In the coming few weeks and months, the Commission is expected to submit a detailed state of human rights report with recommendations to the Gambia Government and the ECOWAS Authority.

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