The Gambia as a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) has finally fulfilled its reporting obligation under the Covenant on the 6th of July 2018. The ICCPR recognizes the inherent dignity of each individual and undertakes to promote human rights conditions within State Parties to allow the enjoyment of civil and political rights of the people. Countries that have ratified the Covenant are obligated to submit an initial report and subsequent periodic reports to the Human Rights Committee and The Gambia is no exception.
The Gambia, however, had failed to submit its initial and subsequent Periodic Reports over the years. In the absence of submitting these reports, the Committee forward a List of Issues sometime in April this year following which a detailed written response was submitted by the Ministry of Justice entailing the Government’s achievement in the implementation of the provisions of the Covenant most viable in the areas of Health, Access to Justice, Education, rights of Women & Children amongst others.
Following an invitation by the Committee to its 123rd Session held in Geneva, Switzerland, a high level delegation comprising of the following: Mr Cherno Marenah , Solicitor General & Legal Secretary,
1. Mr. Ebrima Sisawo, Permanent Secretary, Office of the President
2. Dr. Cherno Omar Barry, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
3. Mr. Bulli Dibba, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior
4. Ms. Lala Jaiteh – Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education
5. Mr. Kajali Sonko – Deputy Executive Secretary, Women’s Bureau
6. Ms. Matilda A. Mendy – Senior State Counsel, Ministry of Justice
7. Ms. Bafou Jeng – State Counsel, Ministry of Justice
The delegation headed by Mr Cherno Marena, successfully engaged in a constructive dialogue with the Human Rights Committee, regarding the administrative, judicial and legislative measures put in place by the Government of The Gambia towards the promotion and protection of basic human rights of the people of The Gambia in accordance with the ICCPR.
The government of the now awaits the concluding observations and recommendations from the Committee which will assist the Government of The Gambia in the continued promotion, protection and fulfilment of the human rights.