Tumani Danjo said the campaign forms part of Beakanyang kafo’s 2014 International Human Rights Day celebration, during which they will be organising a symposium on early and forced marriages.
He said: “The topic has been chosen to reflect the current day realities on the ground in rural Gambia regarding human rights violations. The issue of forced marriage is highly prevalent in the upcountry area which is a cause for concern to our organisation. Child marriage deprives young girls in particular their rights to quality education and it’s usually associated with many health risks”.
According to him, girls as young as 15 years are being forced to marry to men they have little or no affinity with saying: “As an organisation interested in increasing access to quality education for all children, we are putting a lot of emphasis on sensitising students, parents and policy makers on the need to stop the practice of child marriage.”
Danjo further disclosed that as part of the events, participants will be sensitised on the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as other International instruments relating to human rights.
“We are focusing more on URR simply because the practice is very common here and our people have very little information about their human rights including right to quality and relevant education. Annually, Beakanyang joins the rest of the world and other rights-based organisations to mark the day we reached out to over 100 students and teachers last year. I want to reaffirm my organisation’s continued commitment and resolve in eradicating forced and early marriage in Wuli District of Upper River Region. We also hope to minimise it in other parts of the region and the country as a whole. I also want to use this opportunity to call on partners and other stakeholders to support us in making the event a success.”
The event to be held at Naykoi Upper Basic and Senior Secondary School in Wuli West, URR will bring together a cross section of the Wuli community. Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December to among others bring to the attention of the peoples of the world the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and to highlight the efforts of UN and civil society organisations in improving human rights.]]>