Declaring the 56th ordinary session of African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi officially open yesterday, Mama Fatima Singhateh said: “The Gambia has adopted laws and strategies in ensuring the implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, regional and other international human rights instruments. It must be said that the government of The Gambia has made great progress in putting in place the legal framework in ensuring that the national human rights commission is established and once it is established, it will go a long way in addressing human rights issues in The Gambia. I am made to understand that other African countries have also made great strive in the protection of human rights in their respective countries.”

“The government of The Gambia has been working steadily towards improving the lives of its citizenry and ensuring that its obligations to the African Commission and Human Rights Charter and other regional and human rights instruments are adhered to. To this end, The Gambia has made tremendous strides in areas such as health, education, empowerment of women, youths, children issues and agriculture. 

Singhateh said she was optimism that the session will contribute immensely to the improvement of human rights on the continent.


She added: “The African commission has been for the past thirty years working tirelessly towards the promotion and protection of human rights on the continent and I wish to recognise its excellent contribution and achievements in this area.

“The sessions of the commission are therefore an important avenue for all stakeholders to carry out an objective assessment and effective implementation of our obligation on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.”

Earlier, Hon Kayitesi Zainabo Sylvie, chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, in his address highlighted the current but threatening human right situations on the continent.

He said: “2014 has been a challenging year for human rights promotion and protection in the view of many human right issues confronting the continent. Despite efforts marshalled from within the African Union (AU), regional bodies and international community, conflicts and reprisal continue to persist in many parts of Africa including Central African Republic, the Republic of Somalia and Republic of South Sudan; Nigeria, Somalia and Kenya continue to battle with terrorism within their borders; Egypt and Libya have also been plagued with persistent political and economic instability since 2011. In all these situations, it is the population which bears the brunt of the impact.”