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NHRC, Victims Centre move to facilitate implementation of TRRC recommendations

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By Omar Bah

The National Human Rights Commission has reached an agreement with the Victims Centre to ensure the effective monitoring of the TRRC recommendations.

The agreement, signed at the NHRC’s office yesterday, will also see the rights commission work closely with the Victims Centre to promote the #NeverAgain campaign which seeks to bring to an end any form of human rights violations in the country. The agreement also entailed a host of other important areas that the two institutions will collaborate on.

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The TRRC is expected to conclude its public hearings this month [May 2021], prepare a final report containing its findings and recommendations that will be submitted to the President in early July.

The NHRC executive secretary, Cherno Omar Barry, said the commission has already started putting all the necessary measures in place to ensure the government implements the TRRC recommendations.

“The NHRC has already prepared a concept note on how it will now constitute the monitory mechanism of the recommendations. However, it is important to note that we do not implement – What we do is to ensure that we put in the required mechanism to pressure the government to implement the recommendations,” he said.

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He said the commission is planning to constitute a team that will comprise elements of either the state, CSOs, NHRC and others who will provide means to ensure the experiences under Jammeh “will not have to happen again”.

“As a body mandated to promote and protect human rights in The Gambia, we will make it a commitment to reach out to all institutions, agencies and organisations that have a role to play in ensuring that justice is seen to be done and rights of all individuals are protected,” he said.

The agreement with the Victims Centre, Dr Barry added, will also strengthen the #NeverAgain campaign.

He said the Victims Centre is “a very important component to ensuring that the aftermath of the TRRC became a very essential moment for all those who had their rights violated”.

The Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations national coordinator, Adama Jallow, assured the NHRC that the Victim Centre will fully implement the MOU. “This MOU commits us to work together more closely towards the pursuit of justice and human rights in the Gambia,” he said.

He said the Victims Centre and NHRC will work with other CSOs to ensure that the TRRC Recommendations are implemented. He said the Centre is planning to meet political parties before the Presidential Election to ensure that they are committed to implementing the TRRC recommendations

In a similar development, the NHRC also inked an MoU with the Department of Labour to foster a mutual relation between the two institutions.

Dr Barry said under the agreement the Department Labour and NHRC would share information on numerous issues, especially on the number of complaints they receive.

The Commissioner of the Department of Labour, Nyallow Barrow said the agreement is very crucial given the fact that both institutions are dealing with issues of promoting and protecting human rights. He said the agreement will facilitate the effective sharing of information and as well transfer of matters that cannot be handled by an individual institution.

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