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ECO-PHYSICM, NCCRM undergo in-country support facilitation workshop

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By Olimatou Coker

The Protection and Human Security Integrated Coordination Mechanism (ECO-PHYSICM), under the Directorate of Humanitarian and Social Affairs in the Department of Human Development and Social Affairs of ECOWAS, in collaboration  with the Office of the Vice President  and the National Early Warning and Response Mechanism Coordinating Centre (NCCRM) the Gambia has on Wednesday commence of a three-day in-country support facilitation workshop in The Gambia.

This workshop marks a significant moment in ECOWAS’ efforts to address critical human security challenges facing The Gambia and the sub-region, particularly in safeguarding the rights and security of vulnerable populations.

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Binta Sighateh, Director for the National Early Warning and Response  Mechanism Coordinating Centre (NCCRM), said the the importance of the three days workshop cannot be overemphasized.

“This program is very important because it’s about human security and it focuses on how we can cater for vulnerable individuals in our country, especially the ones who are abused, the ones who are involved in smuggling, and also in trafficking of persons, etc, and also gender-based violence,” she said.

She added that at the end of the three days training, they expect to come up with a roadmap that will help them for two years and 2024 to 2026 to see what they can do to be able to achieve this mandate.

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“Central to the mandate of the NCCRM is the recognition that women, children, migrants, displaced persons, victims of human trafficking, and stateless individuals bear the brunt of these vulnerabilities.

Thus, our approach must be anchored in a robust human security paradigm, one that places the individual, families, and communities at the heart of our efforts.”

Olatunde Oleyemi, from the Directorate of Humanitarian and Social Affairs Specifically the Division of Human Security and Civil Society, said the program is a facilitation support mission to The Gambia. On protection of the under protection, human security coordination mechanism of the Gambia, “ECOWAS from 220 21 has been working with member states to establish coordination mechanisms on protection and human security focused on assisting in  preventing risks to vulnerable persons. By vulnerable persons. We’re talking about individuals who might be specifically targeted by victimizers or predators, things like human trafficking, violence against children, Central and gender based violence, that sort of thing. And other related categories. For instance, disabled persons are more prone to certain types of violence or victimization. So we’ve worked on creating this coordination mechanism of protection or human security. The Gambia was the first country where we did that back in 2021. So we’re glad to be back here. The Gambia adopted the roadmap, and we’re here to assess how far that’s gone. How much of implementation that has received and then to support for the review and for the implementation”.

He added that at the end of the workshop, they intend to come up with an action plan for 2024 to 2026 and its implementation will be led by the NCCRM. “And again, I must emphasize the goal of this strengthening coordination collaboration is better resource use and better results for citizens and for other people in the Gambia. We want to as much as possible, if possible, eliminate these types of abuses and basically address vulnerabilities experienced by many people in the Gambia and other parts of West Africa”.

Saikou Tarawally, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Office of the Vice President, said these challenges include weaknesses in the rule of law and observance of fundamental human rights, general weakness in the administrative capacities of Member States, the prevalence of epidemics and pandemics, the realities of climate change and the coping strategies adopted by household conflicts and humanitarian child protection and social protection systems and challenges related to migration movements caused by armed conflict disasters and poverty.

“Persons most affected by rights and human security violations emanating from the realities highlighted above are women and children, migrants, displaced persons (including refugees and Internally Displaced Persons -IDPs), victims of human trafficking, stateless persons”.

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