International Human Rights Day

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December 10th every year is celebrated as International Human Rights Day. The day is used to commemorate the day on which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights took place under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly in December 1948. Actually, it was one of the first landmark achievements of the UN General Assembly.

This day is usually commemorated by nations and organisations in different ways one of which is to hold high-level political conferences and meetings. It is also commemorated by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues.

This day is also used to reflect on the achievements and challenges on the issues of human rights in different countries in the world. In the Gambia certainly, there is a lot to celebrate but there still remain challenges to be tackled.

The establishment of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) since the coming into office of the present government to investigate and record the rights violations that took place in the twenty-two-year reign of Yahya Jammeh is a milestone in the history of the country.

Since coming into existence, this Commission has unearthed many violations that took place in the country. While the Commission may recommend prosecutions of violators and/or reparations, the main focus is on reconciliation so that the country will heal and move forward to create a just society which will respect and guarantee the rights of all citizens and other people living here.

As the host of the premier human rights instrument of Human Rights in Africa, which bears the name The Banjul Charter, it is befitting for the country to make every effort to restore the enviable record it used to have on this front.

Another important milestone on this front is the setting up of a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) which will work to ensure that the rights of all people are not only respected but also protected as well.

As the world celebrates Human Rights Day therefore, it is necessary to remember the other forms of violation that continue to take place around the world and seek ways of putting a stop to them.