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NHRC to focus on fighting corruption in 2024

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By Omar Bah

The chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, Emmanuel Joof, has said the commission will now focus on six key areas which include corruption and combating hate speech among others that need attention.

Speaking on a theme ‘Diaspora, Human Rights, and the Implementation of the TRRC Recommendations’ at the Seventh Stake in the Nation Forum (SNF7) on Saturday at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre, Joof said the NHRC will also focus on business and human rights, climate change and human rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights and social protection.

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Diaspora

He said the NHRC is committed to work closely with the Diaspora to not only bring back a culture of human rights, rule of law and accountability into the country but fighting impunity and bigotry and making the “Never Again mantra” of the TRRC a reality.

The Commission’s vision, Joof added, “is to have a Gambia where everyone enjoys their fundamental human rights and freedoms and there cannot be any relevant partner to realise this vision than the Diaspora.

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Chairman Joof revealed that the Gambian Diaspora are an important and significant group who have and continue to contribute to the development of the Gambia in various ways.

“If we are where we are today, in terms of economic and political progress and consciousness, it is largely because we have a resilient and patriotic Diaspora. It is an open secret that The Gambian Diaspora play a significant role in the development of this country economically with the remittances they send to families and loved ones and the investments they continue to make in this country,” he said.

He added that the Diaspora played and continue to play a crucial role in human rights which contributed significantly to ending dictatorship in the Gambia and the importance of their continued engagement in order to strengthen a culture of human rights and rule of law in The Gambia.

Challenges

Joof said like all institutions and organisations especially budding institutions, the NHRC is also faced with some challenges such as inadequate funding for its programmes and activities, limited in-house technical capacity to effectively support the Commission address emerging human rights issues, lack of permanent infrastructure for the Head Office and Regional Offices, inadequate material resources to effectively support the operations of the NHRC.

TRRC

Commenting on the TRRC, Joof said the TRRC in its reports touched on various aspects of human rights with recommendations on criminal prosecutions for human rights violations and abuses, reparations, reconciliation, institutional reform, amnesty, memorialisation, and the role of the NHRC is to monitor the recommendations and submitting an annual report to the National Assembly on the status of the implementation of the Government White Paper on the Report of the TRRC.

He said as the main institution charged with the promotion and protection of human rights in the country, the NHRC recognises the importance of supporting the government in fulfilling its human rights obligations with regards to the implementation of the TRRC recommendations.

“To this end, the NHRC organised a conference which aligns with Strategy Objective 5 (now Strategic Objective 2” to ensure improved compliance from the State on matters of human rights, rule of law and access to justice”) of the NHRCs’ 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, with the goal of contributing to the effective monitoring of the implementation of the TRRC recommendations to ensure accountability, justice for the victims, their families, and the realisation of the ‘Never Again’ slogan,” he said.

He said the commission has strategic plans to strengthen State institutions, Civil Society Organisations, communities, and leadership for the promotion and protection of human rights and ensure improved compliance from the State on matters of human rights, rule of law and access to justice.

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