By Aminata Ceesay
The Child Protection Alliance has yesterday started a 3-day national workshop for the development of a monitoring framework to ensure observations and recommendations on the rights of children are implemented.
Speaking at the opening ceremony underway at Baha’i Conference Hall in Bakau, Njundu Drammeh, the national coordinator of CPA, highlighted the recommendations relating to children’s rights in the final report of the UPR and the position of the Gambia on each.
He said: “the CRC concluding observations is a public document that is released by the committee on the rights of the child after its consideration and adoption of a state party’s initial or periodic report on the CRC. It is sent to both the state party and the United Nations General Assembly.
“The concluding observations are a set of observations and recommendations on the status of the CRC’s implementation by the state party, the progress achieved and the main areas which would require improvement. They are not criticisms of a state party’s efforts in protecting and fulfilling the rights of children within its jurisdiction.
“The country’s initial report was received by the UN committee on the rights of the child on 20th November 1999. It was considered on 5th October 2001 and adopted on 30 January 2015 when the (second) concluding observations were issued.
“The Gambia is expected to submit its combined fourth to seventh periodic reports by 6 march 2021 which should also include information on the follow-up to the present concluding observations.”
Also speaking Essa Sowe, deputy general secretary GTU, said: “The 1997 Constitution of the Gambia protects children from performing work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with their education or be harmful to their health of physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
“Furthermore, the convention on the rights of the child was unanimously adopted in 1989 following which the country became a state party as a result of its ratification almost three decades ago. According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the interests of the child must be first consideration in all decisions affecting children.
“Children have the right to be heard in all matters that concern them and that their views should be given appropriate consideration. More importantly, the CRC recognizes equality and respect for children as basic principles.”
The workshop is funded by Save the Children International.