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Sunday, September 25, 2022

GID technical working groups conclude four-day retreat to review Immigration Act 1965 and related governing laws

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The Gambia Immigration Department (GID) is the Government agency responsible for facilitating, controlling, and monitoring movement into, within, and outside of the Gambia. Its mandate is derived from the Constitution of the Republic of the Gambia, The Gambia Immigration Act 1965, and its regulations and various amendments. However, despite the multiple amendments to the 1965 Act, the provisions still fall short of addressing contemporary immigration issues.

For example, some of the provisions in the Act are not in line with human rights standards and International Border Management techniques. Furthermore, the provisions do not cater to irregular migration issues, and some core and structural conditions are not in line with the Act.  DCAF – Gambia is supporting GID to address critical gaps in the legal and policy framework by helping establish an Integrated Border Management (IBM) concept from the security perspective, review the Immigration Act and its related laws, and define the mandate and powers of GID through a single legislative Act.

To this end, a four-day retreat of the Gambia Immigration Department (GID) Technical Working Group (TWG) provided its final recommendations to amend the Immigration Act or draft a new Bill according to international standards, practices, human rights, and gender-based approaches. The retreat was held at AbCa’s Creek Lodge and is part of DCAF’s support in strengthening the efficiency and accountability of The Gambia Immigration Department. Fifteen immigration officers, including two senior women officers, make up the TWG. With the support and guidance from DCAF Staff and a legal consultant, the conclave reviewed the Act and its related laws and made recommendations to guide the drafting of a new Immigration Bill 2022.

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Commenting on his view of the review process Deputy Commissioner Ebrima Manneh head of the Research, Planning and Policy Unit, said, “the review is timely and significant for the overall realisation and accomplishment of our strategic plan 2019- 2024, notably on goal one of the strategic plan which deals with the reform aspiration of GID on legal regulatory and policy framework”.

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